Over the trajectory of a decade-plus career that has seen them meticulously dabble in techno, tech-house and electro for labels like Soma, Cocoon, Terminal M and Bedrock, Pig&Dan have seemingly never much cared for catering to trends. So it’s only fitting that their new burner “Slash” is as gigantic of a blazing-hot, big-room techno track that you can get. The twelfth release on their Elevate label, the track is composed of relentless minimal drums and a bombastic bassline that’s peppered with a swirl of acid. Over the course of eight wonderful minutes “Slash” never lets up — nor do we want it to for a single moment. “Slash” is as perfect a techno tune as you’ll hear these days.
A generally thoughtful 17-track collection, aiming to unlock minds by extolling the virtues of dance floor dehydration inside the Cocoon bubble, is the outline for what are slightly low key celebrations. Far from being an oversized retrospective — okay, some merchandise bonuses are added for the occasion, and Cocoon fans are never far from a new release anyway — it’s an onward and upward declaration from Sven Väth, planning the label’s next hundred-strong discography upon the techno institution receiving its ton-up telegram.
As to whether it should have gone all out on the catalogue classics blueprint, or at least included a mixed format, at the very least there are big names to mark a big deal. But reading beyond the headliners is where the compilation makes more of the anniversary. Out of the concentration searching for both oxygen and daylight, where veins bulge at the temple but composure never deserts, Sante & Frank Lorber methodically get window panes quivering. Timo Maas is in grouchy, bass is my master mood, Pig & Dan operate between both of these giving the neighbours what for, and Minilogue turn a foam party into a smothering, stifling swamp of techno worry as physical pressure is added to your cranium. Dominik Eulberg and Secret Cinema hold instructions to the lighting of a blue touch paper for the birthday cake candles.
File under: Extrawelt, Gregor Tresher, Loco Dice
Those seeking a reliably muggy, big-room sound in mint condition with ten years-plus mileage, need to sign up for the services of a pair who refuse to budge from Beatport placement. Igor Tchkotoua and Dan Duncan first flip you with phat-bassed grooves: so simple, yet so made to carve up you and your entourage. Pig & Dan will have you feeling the burn and loving it, until you’re racing toward water like a marathon runner.
“Breadrin Beats” begins the bass-pathed case of throwing down a gauntlet between house and techno, and “Amy” and “Lone Ranger” strike out with classy Morel-style sickness. All endorse a grimacing funkiness where bass cooks up dance floor lava until feet start to blister. In a weird converse, Pig & Dan project themselves as a small epicentre of ideas powerfully dominating a vast expanse, seemingly conserving their energy as they rinse out the tough stuff with very little exertion.
As contrary is that the duo probably comes under the minimalist category, while their crossfader fingers mingle in multiple pies. Thanks to their methodical full-bodied pitches, you’re getting a wide range of goodness: “Powder” begins with investigative movement, a hypnotic quiet tied up by the finale “The Nurse”; and appearances of sub-tribalism (“Insomnia”), tech/trance touches (“Doing It For Yourself,” “Natives”), and further toughening up (“Liberation”), means 2022 can’t come quick enough.
File under: Loco Dice, Spektre, Guy Gerber