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Review: Pig & Dan @ Stereo Nightclub – July 20th, 2012


What makes for a spiritual experience?

No matter how hard I try to fall asleep, on the pillow my head is restless; the echoes of a dream about to come true are keeping me awake. A nap interrupted by the prospect of gathering with comrades to ready ourselves for the journey ahead. There’s a desire in such moments to enter the extraordinary by feeding our own sense of anticipation with each other’s excitement. Hence the presence of friends nourishes the heart with the connection we long for.

It’s late, but it’s early still to show up at Stereo. We happily trade the orange glow of street lights for the trade marked red crosses of the lobby. An effort is required not to rush up the stairs; the dance floor, deserted at this hour, is ours to own and we settle in this new configuration where the DJ booth is on the ground level. Every new person is greeted with smiles, a nod, a few words… it’s a slow build we tacitly agree upon as the bodies gradually loosen up to Ostrich’s fine selection of groovy tempos. The music is deep and relaxed, people move around, strangers meet, this space comes alive as it fills up and one can taste the common thirst in the warm air. We wait, Dan tells me he came alone since Igor (Pig) Tchoutka had family affairs to attend to. After answering a few questions for a filmed interview, he scopes the crowd from the upper level backstage. Assessing the mood of the room, he says “this is my meditative part of the night to find out where to take the vibe”. Ostrich is busy upping the tempo and laying down the darker techno that Stereo regulars crave, so I challenge him to push it further down the rabbit hole, or to create a contrast by bringing back a funkier house flavour. I leave him to ponder, eager to hear which way he’ll guide us towards the dawn. We wait Ostrich reaches the peak of his crescendo and fully deserves the roar of a cheer he gets when he parts with the decks and Dan takes over.

You can read the thrill on the artist’s face is mixed with the healthy fear that comes with any important moment. The care that’s appropriate when you treat an event as special and unique. One chance. Two decks. Three, GO! Techno quickly takes a funkier hue and we find ourselves in a vibe suitable for the Suara label (on which P&D recently released the “Paint It Black” EP). With dashes of even deeper house, the techy atmosphere successfully gathers momentum. Echoes of the past come through (as with their homage to ‘Not everyone understands House music’ in the form of their Moog remix which appeared on their “Then & Now” compilation for Yoshitoshi), but our ears are pointed towards the freshness of Dan Duncan’s formidable ability to blend emotive patterns that pry the heart open with the brutal beats that knock at the soul’s door. Our surroundings cease to matter, we go steeper into the daze of “Insomnia” as the invitation is to ‘dance’ and we thus reach “Liberation” (both from their first album on Soma aptly named “Decade”) via the delectable crispness of tribal rhythms.

Pulling at our nerves, shouts emerge to highlight the dismay one feels when, tired and sore, our bodies still find the energy to burst in ecstatic gestures with every new drop planting profoundly its hook into our aching flesh… and that is the truth of music that moves; that is the language that doesn’t know lies; that is the moment that defines a spiritual experience.

Written by: Etienne