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DJ Tiga On Fame, America & Electro (clash)'s Future

Author: Jonty Adderley
Saturday, January 11, 2003
"Fame offers the chance to make a good living, buy a nice car and a house in the country; that doesn't happen for everybody. But I know so many losers and f*cking wankers who trade stocks all day or f*ck people over in banks yet drive around in Porsches so I don't see why hard working creative people shouldn't have the same rewards. I'd like to be famous, sure."

Ever since Sunglasses At Night became the defining electroclash anthem of 2001, DJ Tiga has found himself in global demand, though sitting in a bar area of a West London Hilton on a dark winter night he remains both unmolested and unrecognised. But then so does declining US gangsta rapper Coolio, who leaves the same bar just minutes before Tiga arrives, much to the Canadian DJ's regret ('I really wanted to meet him,' he sighs).

Though while Coolio's peak moment came with his 1996 worldwide smash Gangsta's Paradise, Tiga's bright future has surely only just begun, some 12 years after he first started his DJing career, spinning techno. Because as well as being one of electroclash's most glamorous, stylish and downright cool practitioners, he's also one of the most talented, both as a producer and seriously skilled DJ.

"The technical end of DJing is what separates a set from being good and being phenomenal," says Tiga.

"Anybody with a good record collection and taste can put together an incredible and eclectic night of music, the difference between that and a really magical set is whether that person can also programme and mix the music together in a way that can really add something to the songs."

Visiting London recently to promote his new record deal with ultra-cool indie label Studio K7, (with whom he releases a new single and compilation CD this January) he's both articulate and unusually focused reflecting the superior qualities already clearly evident in his music.

Man Hrdina (the single) is an accessible slice of cool melodic funky electronica that's instrumental yet impressively catchy while his mix CD is a superbly eclectic selection of disco-electro stormers, rarities and 80s classic club cuts (Soft Cell's So and Stevie V's Dirty Cash). Clearly produced with the dance floor in mind, he's delivered a masterclass selection of the kind of tunes that are revitalising London's clubscene week in, week out, presenting DJ Kicks with their best mix CD so far. And appropriately, the best track is his own superb version of Miss Kittin's Madame Hollywood, her scathing take on today's celebrity culture, which looks certain to be a pop hit when released later this year.

Skrufff (Jonty Adderley): What was the approach you took in compiling the DJ Kicks CD-

DJ Tiga: "Generally when I do a mix CD I take it quite seriously and I like to do them at a moment when I'm championing a particular sound. For example, when I did the American Gigolo one it was easy conceptually, because I wanted to do a CD about all the Gigolo records. I was in love with those records and thought the concept was worthwhile. This one was a little harder because to me there's no obvious big new sound around at the moment. It would have been easy to do an electro anthems style mix with Vitalic, Miss Kittin & The Hacker, DMX Crew and IF and I was tempted, but what I went for instead is the sound I like right now, which is a more mature, darker and definitely more dance-floor orientated sound."

Skrufff: Some of the electro DJs at clubs like Nag Nag Nag and Electric Stew are mixing punk records alongside electro, and not bothering about beat matching, how important is the mixing side to you-

DJ Tiga: "It's very important though the question raises an interesting point. There are two different schools of thought on DJing and these two different approaches have been polarised within the electro/ electric movement. One school comes from a techno/house tradition steeped in technical skill, programming and the whole art of a DJ. It's about taking DJing seriously and to a