Freshly signed to Universal Music and almost ten years down the line since their inception, Pascal and Pearce are still going as strong as ever. With three SAMA nominations under their belt, the DJ and producer duo has been dominating the alternative EDM scene for longer than most. Their latest release is a remix of Vassy and Playmen’s infectious electro pop track ‘I Should Have Said’.
In sharp contrast to the heady, clarified piano opening of the original and its catchy, wholly dance anthemic electronic choral drops, Pascal and Pearce’s version ventures into darker territory. Bubblegum pink pop tendrils are replaced by their cobweb grey counterparts as a percussive intro gives way to aggressive build ups and unapologetic dub-step drops.
Skye Mallac: Let’s start by talking your recent licensing deal you signed with Universal Music. How did it come about? What changes in your work can be expected as a result of it?
Dave Pearce: It’s been in the pipelines for ages, but unfortunately there’s no real fairy tale story, it was just a lot of back and forth and then the contract was signed. We’re really excited about it though, we’re hoping that being signed to Universal Music will give us the opportunity to work with a lot more diverse artists, so you can definitely expect some cool collabs in the near future!
Pascal Ellinas: Yeah as Dave said the deal was in the making for some time, with lots of negotiating, but at the end of the day we were vey happy with what Universal had to offer us. With regards to the music, we are forever evolving our sound, which allows us to be more diverse in our production.
SM: You latest release, the Vassy remix, is pretty great. What influenced your decision to take on this particular track to work with?
D: We didn’t really have much say to be honest, the label approached us with the track and we were keen, Vassy has such an amazing voice, there was no way we were going to turn that down!
P: It’s not often we get to work with international vocalists so we took the opportunity to work with Vassy as she has a big following overseas and a great voice.
SM: Working in South Africa, whose music scene is about as far-reaching and diverse as they come, what steps do you take to keep your sound fresh and appealing?
D: I think you need to take time and listen to as many different music styles as possible – good music knows no genre, and I think subjecting yourself to as much variety as possible is key – it keeps things fresh, and makes you really push your own boundaries, production wise.
P: Listen to as much music as possible and make sure you appreciated it all. We are blessed in South Africa with a unique blend of music which helps us be open to all kinds of sounds.
SM: In terms of your creative process, and at the risk of sounding cliché, how do you make the collective decision between yourselves which angle to take on a remix?
D: I don’t think we ever really make that call consciously – it depends on the original being remixed, mood at the time, a bunch of factors. We generally just mess around until we find something we like and then go with the flow, see where it ends up. Sometimes it can do a complete 180 half way through, but that’s just part of the fun I suppose.
P: We don’t have any set rules for remixing besides keeping the integrity of the original whilst putting our own spin on it.
SM: Have you got any local collaborations or remixes in the works that we can look forward to in the near future?
D: Nothing we can really talk about right now unfortunately – but yeah, we have lots of exciting stuff planned for early 2017 and throughout the year, so watch this space!
P: We are working on lots of new music, with some big local players, but for now we have to keep things a surprise!