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Music that tells a story

Electronic legends Pig&Dan return to Malta to perform at the Full Moon Med Fest – they tell Ramona Depares to get ready to party to some of their newest, as-yet-unheard sounds.

How do you describe your style of music and how have you seen your sound evolve through the years?

We like to tell stories with our music and, from the beginning, we were always designing our own set. Living in Mallorca, we didn’t really have access to vinyl promos so we decided that we would differentiate ourselves from other DJs by producing and playing our own music. All our tracks – whether they are more melodic or more percussive or more minimal – have a certain structure and tell a story. They can be used as tools too sometimes but they are designed to be played from beginning to end. 

We love being dynamic and our sets have a little bit of everything. Rather than being linear I would say they are like a smooth rollercoaster with small surprises. We don’t really stick to genres, which gives us that flexibility and open-mindedness in the studio and if you listen to our discography we have pretty much covered the whole spectrum. The music has evolved because we have evolved; the sound quality of our productions has gotten better as our ears have gotten more refined and as you get older you know more what you want and what you don’t…

You are a great producer and also good in front of a crowd. What do you believe makes a DJ interact amazingly with a crowd?  How do you two achieve this balance?

We make music and we play music because we feel it, we love it and it’s our passion. It’s kind of like being born with a gift that just comes naturally to you. The same with interaction; some DJs are more extroverted than others and are better at interacting with the crowd. But, the most important thing is that you are really feeling the music while you are playing it and you genuinely love what you are doing because people can feel that energy that you are transmitting when you are really in that zone. So, for us it’s about being real with what we do and playing music we really love.

But is it just about playing for the crowd, or are you also playing a bit for yourselves?

It’s about both: in the end it comes down to one thing – entertainment. The DJs are there to give the crowd a musical or visual experience, and it depends on what DJs we are talking about. In our case it’s all about music, we believe all you need is a really good sound system and the right amount of lights at the right moments, so the crowd can really submerge themselves into a musical voyage. We also like the rooms to be darker so people can really let go and dance without feeling self-conscious. And we are very fortunate to play the music we love so you could say that we do also play for ourselves.

The majority of people go to see DJs because they recognise them on Instagram, like celebrities, rather than for the music

Do you tailor your sets according to the audience?

Absolutely. You never know what you are going to find so you need to be flexible. Sometimes a crowd wants it really hard so you have to play much harder than usual, and sometimes they want it a bit softer.

It also depends at what time you are playing and where; we believe the music has to sound good in that kind of environment. For example, at a beach party the sound is going be more melodic and floaty but in a factory  it’s going to be much more industrial. Also, different countries have different tastes in music so you kind of adapt to the situation in the moment. You could say that there’s a real psychological aspect to playing music.

How have you seen the international dance scene change through the years? Would you say digitalisation of the industry has helped or hindered?

Absolutely. The scene has completely changed and in some ways it has helped, however in others it has hindered. You could say the scene before DJs became celebrities was more about the music; you actually needed to produce music or had to have records under your name to become well known and get the bookings.

You could also make decent money selling vinyl and the quality of music was probably higher because the costs of making vinyl and CDs had filtered out the more mediocre music. Now that anyone can open a record label and release practically anything that they want on a digital platform, there’s much more music, but not as well-produced.

The positive thing is that nowadays anyone can have their own record label and if they are talented, use that to market themselves and get more exposure quicker than before, so it works both ways.

Nowadays, though, it’s more and more about social media, as well as branding. The majority of people buy brands and go to see DJs because they recognise them on Instagram, like celebrities rather than for the music they play or produce. Of course, there are people that do know what they are listening to and are true fans but the majority go for the experience and the brand so the way the industry works has completely changed.

Is there anything new brewing right now in Pig&Dan’s world?

There’s always loads happening in our world! We have a new project with an MC which we are developing and could be something very interesting for the future. We are also thinking of doing Pig&Dan events in the future, but still not sure what shape that will take and we have a lot of new music coming out and very interesting labels in the autumn but can’t really give any details till it’s all 100 per cent confirmed… so, keep an eye on our social media for some announcements soon.

Do you have anything specific planned for Malta or are your sets more spontaneous?

Our sets are always spontaneous although they are built around our music, so we can assure you that we will be playing a lot of new Pig&Dan music that no one has heard before. This is not our first time playing in Malta; we have a great friend who is a producer from here, Dean Demanuele whom we have known for many years  and whom we are looking forward to seeing again.

Pig&Dan will be playing at the Full Moon Med Fest on August 25 at Gianpula Village, Rabat.  Tickets are available online from https://shop.trackagescheme.com/event/full-moon-med-fest/. The event is headlined by Pig&Dan, Dave Clarke, Amotik, Tribälism Bøys and Jamie Behan; other artists are also part of the line-up.

https://www.facebook.com/piganddan/;

https://soundcloud.com/pig-and-dan

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