June 12, 2021
New artists enter the NFT space every day. It’s become tough to distinguish what separates one from the other. Pig & Dan (Igor Tchkotoua and Dan Duncan) and Gregor Tresher’s upcoming drop is a refreshing note of compelling music and visual storytelling. And it aims to use a more equitable financial model. And challenge the idea that art on the blockchain is bad for the environment.
The titans of techno will unveil four new audio-visual NFT’s called “Soulcatcher.” Created in collaboration with Stewart Graham from S272 Studios on June 16. The trio of producers is passionate innovators of up-front peak hour techno. They've broken new ground with this project. And are expressing the diversity of their sound in new ways.
"Soulcatcher" seamlessly combines audio precision with visual storytelling. It creates a world where the psychedelic journey of the protagonist mirrors the reality of navigating a world fractured by tragedy.
This isn't the first time they've dabbled in visual art. Dan has built collections alongside Banksy’s team for over 20 years. He’s excited about the long-term vitality of NFTs. And their potential to unite artistic mediums.
He says, “I’ve held a huge passion for art and music sort of being as one. And I think this was really, truly the first opportunity that we could get moving pictures, to be offered together with music as a single piece of art.”
Speaking for himself and Pig, Dan says, “We're both so passionate about art. That synergy between art and music just ticked all the boxes. So, for us, it was an opportunity we couldn't resist really.”
Pig & Dan and Gregor Tresher have been friends for years. They met while DJing at Sven Väth's legendary Cocoon Club in Germany. And they recently solidified their studio relationship on the Challenger EP, on Adam Beyers’ Truesoul imprint.
After the success of the release, they wanted to take the collaboration further Dan says. “It's an amazing synergy between us. And we thought, come on let’s milk this. Not milk financially. But our energy is flowing. Let's see what we can do.”
Tresher introduced Grahame to the group. They'd previously worked together designing album art. The accomplished Candian artist has worked with clients ranging from Sum 41 to Air Canada to Deadmau5.
Dan knew Graham was the perfect person to complete the trifecta of synergy from the gate. “He was so on it, like from the first second, we were like, Oh, this is brilliant. This is actually really taking me where I want it to be.”
Dan says their interest in NFTs stretches beyond windfall financial payouts. It’s similar to how he views his relationship with dance music culture.
“It's not about money. It has to always come from the soul. The amount of times in my life I've survived on a donut a day or starved for my music. You can't do this for money. It has to be for the right reasons.”
The NFT communicates with the community they harvested for 20 years. They insist that they don't alienate the people responsible for their success. So, the NFT will sell via raffle, not auction. Art should be as accessible as music.
“The idea is to give a chance to any type of consumer and not charge these sorts of two and a half grand prizes for a record that they would normally buy for $2. It's got video content; it's got a lot more behind it. So, it is a little bit more expensive. But the way we're doing it is very much in accordance with catering for the people that follow our music.”
Their dedication to the community is just as important as their dedication to the planet. The NFT’s are minted on the FLOW blockchain. Which aims to be as carbon neutral as possible.
It’s part of Dan’s ethos. And something he grew up learning. His dad was a successful musician, but also kind of a hippie. Dan grew up with a “do no harm” philosophy. And he admits the lifestyle of a touring DJ isn’t the most ecological.
“Being a DJ who has been flying 400 flights a year, spending hundreds of hours on airplanes, and making a horrible carbon footprint, I think it's the least we can do is look at the best options to give back as much as we can to, to the environment. Because Mother Nature is all we got. For me, that's like my religion.”
Dan practices what he preaches. When he goes to the beach near his home on the island of Mallorca, Spain he brings a fishing net with him to pull the plastic out of the ocean.
Their NFT drop comes with the promise that if it needs to be transferred to Ethereum, which has a much higher ecological footprint, they will pay for the carbon offset.
He believes that NFTs and digital art have the potential to be even more ecological than traditional art. In 2019 Dietl International, a major shipping company generated 1,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide transporting items to Art Basel in Miami. If NFT’s can be traded on blockchains that aim to be carbon neutral, they could be infinitely better for the environment.
Dan believes he can open up to a new audience. Because as he says, “The NFT buyer is not necessarily a buyer of art or music in the physical form.” This is just the first drop. He’s a music lifer. And plans on staying in the art game for just as long.
Learn more about SOULCATCHER on the project website.