Elevate with Pig&Dan + Mark Reeve an exclusive B2B Interview

ELEVATE – a label started by Pig&Dan focuses on releasing music to make the listener feel just that – ‘elevated’. Since its inception in 2012, its seen a stream of hits climb the Beatport charts, featuring artists including Amelie Lens, Monika Kruse and Julian Jeweil. Not forgetting the smash hit No.1 techno track from Aitor Ronda with ‘Tweezer’ in 2017, which helped firmly put ELEVATE on the map in terms of the labels to watch out for going into 2018.

Mark Reeve collaborated with the guys back in 2015 and this June we see the second project come to form with their ‘Give’ EP which stands as the labels landmark 100th release.

Working with Pig & Dan is always a pleasure and I can remember many great projects in the past and meeting them back in 2011. This EP was designed for the summer festivals, uplifting, hands up moments” – Says Mark

The EP has two original tracks, which both heavily focus on upbeat techno with the use of catchy, powerful vocal effects – two things which Pig&Dan and Mark have become known for.

On this release we’ve hit a real high note with Mark. Both tracks are extremely uplifting and have a solid drive behind them however hold clear elements of house within.” – Says Dan

We had the pleasure of chatting with the two while giving each of them a shot to interview each other in this exclusive b2b Q&A between Mark Reeve and Pig&Dan.

MARK REEVE ASK PIG&DAN

Q1. Where did you guys meet and how did you come up with that name?

We met per chance on a flight to Mallorca where Igor is from and my parents were based. I (Dan) was talking about my career as a Drum&Bass DJ to the person beside me and Igor who was sat in the row behind lent forwards and mentioned that he was also a DJ/Producer. We swapped numbers but actually never called each other. A couple of years later a mutual friend reintroduced and we didn’t realize at first that we had met previously. However, when we did, we knew it was fate and that we had to try to produce together. 

The name came from the fact that Igor had a nickname “Pig” because of his love for food. From that point, Pig&Dan was born and even though we do think it’s a pretty silly name, it’s memorable and even though the industry we work in is hard as hell it’s still to be taken with a pinch of salt. We love a good laugh and we are all about being fun folk 

 

Q2. How is it working as a duo, tell me about your favorite times or places you have been.

There are so many advantages to have a partner to bounce off of. We have a special synergy hence the fact that we are still here 17 years down the line. Making music is so personal and to work with others can prove impossible on occasions because your opening up and your ego has to be able to adapt when being criticized in a creative process. 

Also touring as a duo is so much easier, we mostly inspire each other behind the decks and when going through all the rigorous travel plans it’s often good to have your brother there to take the edge off. 

Q3. What kind of sports are you in to and what do you prefer more a fat burger or healthy stuff ?

We both go to the gym as regularly as we can. I (Dan) do intensive core training, swimming and uphill runs when I can, although travel really takes the wind out of your sails sometimes so it’s hard to have the energy.

Q4. What is it like in Palma what could you recommend (or not recommend) to anyone wanting to go?

It’s a stunning city, we recommend to get lost within the back streets of older parts of town. Just walk and admire the extraordinary architecture without knowing where you are. You can’t really get lost these days with technology but for a while turn off the phone and just lose yourself in Palma. 

Also, the culinary world has exploded here. Restaurants such as “Canela” are a must if you can get a table that is!!!

PIG&DAN ASK MARK REEVE

Q1. What other jobs have you had before being a DJ full time? Did you have some funny / good / bad experiences you can share?

A1. I am what you call in Germany an IT expert. I passed my relevant tests at the age of 25 and became qualified. After that I started to work for banks in their computer departments. I actually loved doing my IT work and there where never any bad times, but as time went on music became more important to me, and less of a hobby and I decided that is what I wanted to pursue.

 

Q2. We are well known huge fans of street art, do you like art? If so, what’s your favourite artists and why?

A2. I am a fan of art but haven’t really got any real favs to be honest. I will have to look into street art a bit more. Or maybe you guys can help guide me a little, as I heard you a bit of an expert!

 

Q3. Where were you born and brought up? Do you have any tips for your hometown for visitors?

A3. I was born in Poole near Bournemouth, which is in the South of UK. I lived there for 16 years with my parents until the big move came to Germany. If you’re in Bournemouth check out Sandbanks which is nearby, or head to Swanage. It’s really beautiful and not many people or crowded areas. The beaches are spot on and really worth looking at.

 

Q4. What did you want to be when you were a child and why?

A4. I wanted to be a Policeman. To be honest I just liked the uniform and all the law and order stuff got me going…..!

 

Passion, Purpose, Intent with John Digweed and the release of Bedrock 20

As we continue down this path of electronic music journey throughout the years, one begins to wonder what does this all equate to? Most of the worlds most respected and well sought after DJ/Producers in today’s scene have put in years (we’re talking 2+ decades easily) of work to persevere through waves of ups and downs while defining purpose with what they have devoted their entire lives to.

When we speak of longevity and those who have remained in the forefront of electronic music culture one name certainly comes to mind and that is John Digweed, a true pioneer in the progressive house genre that has cultivated a mass amount of followings both in music fans and artists that ultimately re-wrote the script for one of the most defining and influential electronic music sounds of our time. This relentless will and vision of staying consistently passionate towards his sound that caught global attention did not happen overnight as today’s culture of instant gratification and putting deadlines on goals have shifted the mindset of a pure and genuine artist at heart.

We caught up with John Digweed shortly after his main-stage Movement Festival set in Detroit this past Memorial Day Weekend to discuss the deep-rooted issue with today’s artists’ mindset and the key in turning passion into something much more meaningful than what is purveyed on the surface.

6AM: Hey John, hope you’re doing fine today. How did you enjoy your set just now? The crowd responded well from what we saw and heard earlier.

John: It was good! The weather was a little bit hot at the start of my set so I kept it cool because the Sun was just beating down so I wanted to keep up with the deep-energy but once the sun had gone away everyone kind of livened up a bit because the heat can be so oppressive at times haha. But no, I loved it – it’s always great to come and play here the vibe is really nice the people are friendly and the organizers do a great job so really happy to be here this year!

6AM: What can you tell us based on your own experience the growth of Movement Festival and the type of impact the city of Detroit is getting from this annual event?

John: Well I think most importantly is that having this festival in Detroit is really really significant because it’s the birthplace of Techno so I can’t imagine it being anywhere else. But I think for the city, in general, having this influx of people with all the hotels, taxis, restaurants, everything it’s a massive injection into the economy here but also it’s a real nod in the hat to this city as this is the place now known for people to come and hear the best in electronic music and techno……this is one the best festivals for it in the world to give people a taste of true history of our scene. 

6AM: You have had a long and quite successful career as a DJ/Producer both performing and in the studios. Many of your peers, colleagues, and those who wish to be like you are often amazed by your work ethic, what keeps you motivated and inspired that allows it to push you to continue to do what you love most.

John: Well…. I’ve wanted to be a DJ since I was 11 years old so the fact that after all these years I’m still enjoying what I do, playing the big festivals, still playing the best clubs it’s because I love it….I don’t have much else to say…..you know it’s not a job it’s actually something I really “really” enjoy. I spent a lot of time researching my music going through making sure that every time I show up I give 100% and I think if you didn’t do that, people would see it and they’d be like “ah John’s not really that bothered now you know he’s playing the same records and he didn’t seem that bothered”

I mean I’m not the most animated DJ, but what I lack in animation I think people see the passion and I absolutely think they would much rather hear good music than see me jumping around (chuckles).

6AM: Haha yeah speaking on behalf of our community we would much rather hear your music as well though we believe you got the moves ready if and when you’re ever in need to bust it out! Well, that follows up into our next question.

Festivals such as Movement and all the ones you have played around the world truly does inspire a wave of people wanting to be a John Digweed, Richie Hawtin, or Diplo etc because they have finally found their “passion” for something in life. There are pools of festival goers (young and old) wanting to get involved with the scene whether to be a DJ/Producer (aka the gateway drug) or be involved as a promoter/event organizer/event staff….whatever it may be. 

What advice can you give to the next generation of industry people (DJs, Promoters, Agents, Label Owners, etc) for them to understand what it is they are deciding to do, what they are sacrificing, and putting on the line because we feel like a lot of people are very lost in this journey, most of them all want instant gratification that takes away the integrity. What is your best advice or theory behind this?

John: I would say you got to look at it like a marathon, not a hundred meter sprint….because it’s not… there’s no short– I mean there is a shortcut to being successful but do you have longevity, purpose and intention with that? and I think the difference is if you take your time and don’t rush it you can maintain a music career that lasts many many years if you’re willing to put the initial hard work.

Anyone can find their passion, I mean look at these festival-goers…..they’re passionate about something whether it’s the music, their friends, the energy thrill, or whatever they are here for, but it’s purpose and intent behind that passion that keeps the fire burning which allows us to continue to do what we love for as long as we possibly can.

I think sometimes it’s like as you say “instant gratification” aka I want to be successful now and it’s got to be now now now and as you know as quick as you rise you can fall if not equally fast and hard, and I think  building a steady fan base and keeping that and maintaining it and being humble and original all the time is definitely one the key to success. I mean I’ve known Carl Cox for 30 years and he’s the same now as he was when I first met him and he’s down to earth….he’s just such a great guy and that’s testament to why he’s the biggest DJ in the world because he’s passionate about what he does but there’s no ego there, he’s just so genuine which is what most people want from others.

6AM: We love how that truly applies to the industry-at-large and a lot can be learned by the testaments of Carl Cox which is ultimately being a cool and down-to-earth human being. 

The engine never seems to be slowing down for you, we’re halfway through the year already and we’re sure you got some big projects you’re working on what can you tell us about and what can we all expect?

John: We are releasing Bedrock 20 on June 22nd and celebrating 20 years of my label and we’ve got some amazing artist Josh Wink, Paco Osuna, Ruede, Haggleston, Monkey Safari, Guy J and many more… there’s 21 artists on there and they’re all original brand new tracks and we’re doing a box set for the first time so it’s literally real honor to sort of mark this landmark album with a five vinyl deluxe box set so that’s that’s the big project. The last track I played tonight was a collaboration I’ve done with Simon Barry and Luke Bankacha along with Nick Muir that’s called “close your eyes” which is all part of this release which I’m excited to share

Order the release via www.johndigweed.com/bedrock

FREE Download: Weska Unleashes Two-Track “Playground” Stomper

Following up his top 5 single “Voyage” released on Kraftek at the end of last year, Berlin-based Canadian producer Weska is back with a free, two-track stomper just in time for the summer season.

The title track “Playground” is a bass heavy club cut that sways upwards and downwards, in and out of a warped vibe. The EP’s counterpart, “Crimson Tide”, is a slightly groovier affair where energetic percussion plays off an array of euphoric pads and sonic laser beams. Adam Beyer has been championing this track for months, and it’s about time that it was released to the masses!

Together, the two form a versatile and captivating EP that attests to Weska’s dynamic sound.

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Premiere: Nick Garcia Debuts on PUZL Records With “Stepmode” EP

Nick Garcia makes his debut appearance on PUZL Records with an exciting new EP entitled Stepmode.

The young producer’s musical prowess is undeniable and as his sights turn towards this latest body of work we see him venturing deeper into the experimental and leftfield narratives.

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Premiere: Wrong Assessment Delivers Solo “8th Floor” EP on LA’s Ascetic Limited Imprint

Ascetic Limited is shifting gears, focusing on solo EPs dedicated to the artists that form the collective. To kick it off they present an EP from renowned Milanese techno producer and AWRY label boss Wrong Assessment, who throughout his career in techno has proven himself to be one of the most interesting producers coming out of Italy.

From his collaborative works with the late Max_M as Overall Severity to his solo works as Wrong Assessment, his tracks are always unique. Influences ranging from Minimal to hard pounding Techno bangers, through House grooves and Ambient arrangements, he still is able to transmit his sound and vision with his music.

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Premiere: Simina Grigoriu Takes on a Raw Approach on her “Una” EP

Simina Grigoriu takes on a raw approach on her Una EP, an energy-brimming three-piece centered around a dark techno power anthem, with remixes by Toronto talent Jade and Minus crew member Carlo Ruetz.

From “Una”’s boilerplate dark intro we’re guided into a symphony of arpeggiated strings layered on top of one another, stirring emotions to a whole new level. Adding to the rising tension are impish voices, channeling both the seraphic and the hellish opposites of the supernatural spectrum.

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Giorgia Angiuli: “I Love Cute and Little Things and I Think That Beautiful Objects Can Produce Beautiful Sounds”

Born in Puglia, also known as the heel of Italy’s boot, Giorgia Angiuli is a classically trained musician, composer and multi-instrumentalist. Very early on she developed a strong interest for electronic music and started to experiment with new live techniques. From her very first project in 2009 Metùo, where she released the album “Toyshop,” Giorgia has created a vibrant, unique and interactive performance for her fans.

In 2010 with her audio visual project We Love, Giorgia collaborated with the renown label Bpitch Control, performing in clubs internationally allowing her presence to grow which eventually led her to go solo in 2013.  The solo project of Giorgia Angiuli stylistically moves between pop, techno and house. She uses her voice to create a dreamy dimension intensified by the use of unique toy instruments. During her set she combines keyboards, drum pad and theremin with the sounds of a toy flute, sax, trumpets and many other toys. Mixing all of these samples and loops she shapes a vibrating and energetic groove that sets the dance floor on fire.

From 2013 to the present Giorgia has had success releasing on some of the biggest labels, Stil vor Talent, Crosstown Rebels, Kindisch, Kevin Saunderson’s legendary techno KMS, Harry Klein, Einmusika, Systematic and Suara to name few. In 2018 her new EP “No Body No Pain” released on Stil Vor Talent.

The start of 2018 saw Giorgia tour in Europe, Australia and South America.  She will also hit the European summer festival circuit playing at Aquasella in Asturias Spain, Kappa FuturFestival in Italy, Fusion in Germany, Pleinvrees in Amsterdam, Rock’n Solex Festival in Rennes, Audioriver in Plock, Sueno Open Air in Aix En Provence.  At the end of May 2018, Giorgia will embark on her first US tour playing at some of the best venues such as Output in NYC, Union in Los Angeles, SpyBar in Chicago, The Great Northern in San Francisco, Théâtre Fairmount in Montreal, Treehouse in Miami and Here I love You in El Paso to name a few.

It was during this last U.S. tour that we spoke to her to learn more about her love for toys and the incredible way she has been making music.

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Premiere: Listen to Rose Tinted & Anna Be’s “Aquila” on Kreis Recordings

Kreis Recordings third time around the block is a tour de force of Tech heat from Rose Tinted and Anna Be. Showing the unique energy the label is building the imprint brings back the remixers from the 001 to take control for 003 and their first artist EP.

The Saraswati EP is a three tracker, featuring originals that cleverly walk the line between Tech and Techno. Warm production matched with timeless melodics, stretched out sound scapes which drag you into a different frame of mind.

“Aquila” is a masterpiece of atmospheric but pounding beats, sizzling hats balance out an otherworldly dreamscape, but your awake…its 6am and your dancing.

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Premiere: Robert Logan Remixes Gagarin’s “Winterfold” on Geo Records

Gagarin is the electronica nom de plume of Graham “Dids” Dowdall who has a long career of performing and collaborating with the likes of Nico, Pere Ubu, Rothko, Roshi ft Pars Radio, Suns of Arqa and much more.

Gagarin’s current album Corvid was released at the end of Nov 2018 to considerable press acclaim, radio play and blog attention. Receiving premieres in Bigshot ( “Gorgeous ambient – pensive and purposeful”.) XLR8R (“achingly beautiful melodies and haunting atmospheres” ). Reviews in Rockerilla ( “visionary” ), Electronic Sound ( “Clever Otherworldy Sound Art “), Vital Weekly (“ I loved all of this “) DMC WORLD ( “the essential light and shade make this album works so well 5/5”) and lots more as well as repeated radio play from BBC6 and across Europe. In support of the album Gagarin has been gigging across UK extensively.

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Global Vibe Radio 116 Feat. BOHO

Following a couple of excellent Jannowitz Records premiere here on 6AM, we decided to feature label head Lars Kohl  aka BOHO on this week’s Global Vibe Radio episode.

Enjoy the mix below and check back in a week for free download!