My Name Is Tiga. Welcome to the Bio-Dome, mec!
As you know, my remix work has slowed considerably as of late. While my versions of tracks by Alter Ego, New Young Pony Club, The Gossip and Human League have only enhanced my reputation as the Sex Whiz of Sonic Parkour, I felt I needed to start hoarding my best ideas for my own music. The remix of Alter Ego’s “Gary”, for instance, forced me to cannibalize much of the work I’d done in my now-legendary sessions with Bobby McFerrin. It was then that I knew that I had to draw the line.
The seeds for ZZT, my ongoing collaboration with Zombie Nation, when we hit it off at the semi-biannual Gigolo High-Earners Galmour Pageant and Hot Meal. After falling out with Gigolo over accusations of cyber-arson, I approached him about working together, possibly on music. I soon came to love his thing-throwing, humor-having ways. Our tracks tend to be “live” in nature, in that we try to only use parts that require four hands at a time. Or 19 fingers and three lips. It depends.
Rainier Werner Bassfinder takes everything great about my work with Jesper Dahlback and takes it to a new level. One that forces me to use a fake name. I chose the moniker “The Dove” for reasons contractual and shame-based. Probably 70/30, contract/shame. Oh, Michael Gothard, I only wanted to do right by you!
Over the past few years, I have continued to tour the globe extensively. I have eaten Club Sandwiches in over 60 countries and done “The Sandwich” in over 600 clubs. I was also brave enough to visit the Middle East, with a harrowing trip to war-ravaged Dubai. I was taken falconing (this is 100 percent true), which was strange enough before I found out that the falcons undergo extensive plastic surgery to look more like celebrities. My falcon, I was told, was supposed to resemble Ethan Hawke. I don’t know who that is.
The past few years have also seen a resurgence at my record label, Turbo. The work done by Thomas Von Party in A&R and Oliver Interactive in International Business Affairs has been invaluable. I can’t express how much I appreciate their efforts in making Turbo the Towerhorse it is today. I would be remiss, however, in not mentioning the real star of the show, our Branding Consultant, Brandon Branding.
Brandon saw ways of expanding our brand in new and exciting directions. He insisted I start participating in community soccer leagues to lend an “everyman” quality to my daunting brilliance. I was skeptical at first, but soon I came to treasure seeing the faces of 50-year-old men in goggles light up as I take the field. I am a defense-minded, vaguely passive-aggressive midfielder, and have trained online with Ghana international Michael Essien.
Mr. Branding also encouraged me to write for the label, birthing a torrid run of press sheets that has sparked in me a love of letters deep and true. Now I write all the time. I even replaced my car’s paneling with dry-erase board, so that I may lean out the driver’s seat window at a moment’s notice to scrawl away at the face of literature.
Today, our reach extends even further, thanks to my venturing into the world of amateur inventing. There’s the Grocery Claw, aimed at those who rightly abhor what I call Market Filth. And, with an eye towards the future of our planet, Solar-Powered Wind.
Most importantly, 2009 will see the release of my new LP, “Ciao!” This album will surely cement my status as a Storytella and Funky Fella. “Ciao!” is the fruit of 15 months of collaborations with such leading lights as Soulwax, Jesper Dahlback, Gonzales, Jori Hulkonnen, Jake Shears and James Murphy. An impressive roster, to say the least. What was that? What do you mean, “What?” That sound you just made! It was like a snort, a dismissive snort. have you worked with, then, genius? Sting Jr.? That weirdo form Simply Red? Lady Sting? I am not impressed in the least.
All in all, at the end of the day, I can’t help but gaze into the reflecting pool and think to myself, “I guess I really turned the night on, huh?”
1976 – 2003, “The Creation Myth”
“The citizen may take a bride, but it is the rifleman who takes a lover. Ultimately we all must choose either the myth or the mountain.”
The origins of Montreal born DJ-producer-incipient Teutonic legend Tiga lie to the vague and troubling East, where he was weaned on the nefarious milk of the notorious 1980s Indian club scene.“To the unforgiving eye,” he says of the sybaritic night-kingdom,“a world of filth and decadence is revealed. For example, I’m fairly certain that more than a few club owners had an unsavory arrangement with the man who brought the folding chairs. I was at once appalled and enraptured. After that, I had no choice in the matter.”
By 1990, Tiga had returned to Montreal, prodigiously nightwise and unsatisfied with the existing local club scene (calling it “the plumage of a bird I cannot bring myself to want.”) With the help of a core group of friends, he began to throw a series of small parties infused with the sense of dead-eyed ennui gleaned from a past littered with acid whores and crazed Indian gamblers. Other innovations which Tiga introduced to Montreal party culture include guest DJs, intense street promotions featuring rival gangs of street acrobats, color flyers, multi-dj sets, and leading the supplicant crowd through the innermost corridors of one’s soul.
It was this heady time of dizzying innovation and ravenous sexual ambition, which culminated in the birth of 1993’s “Solstice,” generally, considered to be Montreal’s first genuine rave. (A year earlier, a hyper-prescient Tiga staged “Eclectricity,” the first online rave, a project whose utter failure remains a source of bafflement: “It broke my heart, given my views on diversity . . . I am, I feel, a very interactive person.”) Tiga has since helped to orchestrate no less than ten major events, including “The Orb Live,” “Pure,” and the very first North American appearance of continental illusionist Jean-There.
In 1994, Tiga bought DNA Records, a small medical data concern, and parlayed it into Montreal’s premiere electronic music boutique. “We’ve always believed in putting the customer first, from helping you find that one minimal house record that will make your collection to offering concerned looks as you wade through the enormous backlog of test results to discover if you are in fact afflicted with a congenital disease.”
In 1996, Tiga privately sang about the death of actor and poet Tupac Shakur.
That same year, the Montreal dance community found a haven for the boldest feats of dance, where fools are in love with mystery and sex-valor is prized above all else. Sona (meaning literally ‘Liar-dancer’) was initially conceived of by Tiga and his two partners as “a perverse, jeering monolith, because nothing is sacred anymore” but it has evolved into much more. In addition to its place among the pantheon of urban groove centers, on weekdays it rents out its facilities, at a very reasonable rate, to a local program dedicated to teaching homeless men to dance properly (“I just think it’s an important project,” Tiga said at the time).
In 1998, Tiga started Turbo Recordings as an outlet for his wildman organ escapades but he soon found a host of other artists who were willing to be paid to record for him. Turbo has released over 20 albums, 2 samplers, and 12 vinyl twelve inches as well as secured global distribution with Prime, Intergroove and Caroline. Notable releases include Peter Benisch’s “Soundtrack Saga,” Christopher Handlebar’s “To a Time of Asia” and Tiga’s own “Mixed Emotions” and “American Gigolo”
By 2001, however, overwork and media saturation began to show their strain, as evidenced by Tiga’s hysterical outburst at a fashion photographer during a promo shoot:
“I’ll sit for your venal cigarette pictures, but I will not indulge you in your game of ‘Eyes! Lies! Surprise!’ I dare you, coward—call out your cloakmen! What are you waiting for? The truth?!”
Following a month spent riding horses and caring for his voice, Tiga entered the studio with producer Zyntherius “Jori” Hulkonnen and a singular vision: “electro, but mainly about my eyes.” The result, a searing rendition of his former Mother Mio bandmate Corey Hart’s solo smash “Sunglasses at Night,” challenged dancers and seduced critics alike, yet Tiga is coy when asked about its impact, particularly in Germany: “’Sunglasses’ is a sinless child, a gleaming medallion. But is also a trick, a trick of memory. You must understand – on a whim, we revealed the hidden fire of Europe.”
But fires need tending and lumber. And so the onslaught of Tiga-powered releases was fated to continue. They are his craft, his life, his living craft-fire.
“We live in the Age of Cruelty and every day I struggle to find my place in it. All I know I can offer the world is a thousand more adventures through dancing and light.”
2003 – 2006, “Get on Top of the Fire”
If “Sunglasses at Night” marked Tiga’s coronation as the steely Wolf-King of Dance Mountain, then his subsequent remixes for the likes of Martini Bros., Alpinestars, Linda Lamb, Crossover, FC Kahuna, Cabaret Voltaire, Telepopmusik, Felix da Housecat, Fischerspooner, FPU, The Devils (Nick Rhodes), and Danni Minogue birthed his dewy-eyed heir, Darian. Says Tiga, “I have also produced remixes for City Rockers, and singles for Turbo Recordings, Intec, Drumcode, and Electrix with Mateo Murphy under the name TGV. I am also the hidden hero of the ongoing NHL lockout. I will break the players’ will – you have my solemn word.”
In 2003, Tiga took his conqueror’s tools to the streets, with a heralded mix CD for !K7’s DJ Kicks series, and an ethereal reading of Nelly’s “Hot in Herre,” which became a stalwart success and was subsequently licensed in the UK by Skint (in the UK) and Warner Music (the GAS region). The video, which can be seen at http://www.eyeballnyc.com/tiga, is a revelation of neo-urban dazzle-do, courtesy of the puppet wizardry of Tiga’s brother, the Lord of the Marionette (www.lordofthemarionette.com).
Tiga was also gracious enough to lend his wind-shattering vocals to Richard X’s “You (Better Let Me Love YouX4) Tonight,” as well as “Heartbreak/Ananda,” by Beyer & Lenk (Adam Beyer and Jesper Dahlback), and Rik Stamina’s “Dancing Inside You.” His remix work on Alex Kidd’s “Come With Me”, Neon Judgement’s “TV Treated,” Scissor Sisters’ cover of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb,” “Da Hype,” by Junior Jack and Robert Smith, and Peaches’ “Shake Yer Dix,” and Soulwax’s “E Talking” comprises a merciless Crimson Romance, lapping at the shores of eternity.
Tiga’s smash single “Pleasure From The Bass”, a two-fisted jackal that drew a line in the dancefloor sand, was released in 2004 on the Belgian imprint PIAS.
2005 saw remixes for Depeche Mode, The Vests, Moby, LCD Soundsystem, Mylo, Phillipe Zdar, Chelonius Jones, Drama Society, Thomas Andersson and countless others. In October, Tiga womanized the world with “You Gonna Want Me”, his toothsome duet with Jake Shears (of Scissor Sisters’ fame), “Once again, I proved you can’t spell ‘sword’ without ‘words’” says the dance-freckled Disco Jockler.
2006 began with the release of Tiga’s debut album Sexor, which sounded the clarion call of an emergent Nation-Man. “It is an exhilarating time – the woes and the whoas, the thrills and the throes! Like Icarus, I have flown dangerously close to the fun, on a dare to wear my overalls undone.”
Tiga then embarked on the “Sexor over Europe” and “Sexor over Canada” tours in a manner befitting The Most Compassionate Man Alive. “Soon I will position Sexor over America and Sexor over Japan, forcing rapt smiles onto the faces of the discovantaged, those fey, oblivious costumers’ sons…”, he said.
That same year, Tiga made you go “Tig-unnggghh!” with the video for the single, “(Far From) Home.” Shot in Tokyo, the clip follows Tiga on a soul-laughening journey down a street of some sort. The video was helmed by Nagi Noda, the accalimed Japanese director of the groundbreaking music video for Yuki’s “Sentimental Journey”, a short film, Ex Fat Girl, which features exercising poodles, and projects for Nike and Laforet, for which she has won a host of prizes in Japan, not the least of which being Tiga’s coveted “Admiration-in-Japan” Medal.
Meanwhile, the “(Far From) Home” single left mankind fitted for underjeans, provocatively asking listeners “Are you a DoJ or a Don’tJ?” The release included remix work by the DFA, Digitalism, and Chicken Lips, showcasing Tiga’s incredibly exotic voice in new sonic locales, as well as a remix by Tiga himself, “The Speed of Sexor Reprise.” A well-meaning dub edit by Jon Aerosmith & Eduardo B. Rich was politely declined.
Tiga’s reign of wonder continued to not stop, as he dutifully drew up the dance contracts for tracks by Coldcut and Pet Shop Boys. “As both a student – and a significant part – of history, I feel it would be a betrayal of my stewardship to ever remix music in anger. It is not the Way of the Musician, nor is it the Musician’s Way.”