So now I find myself faced with the unenviable and alien experience of reviewing a dj mix record when I lack any experience in the politics of getting booties on the floor, especially when said booties are connected to faces caked in eyeliner, foundation and those most asymmetrical of haircuts that have come to symbolize the electro crowd. The same crowd currently courts the Canadian enigma Tiga. Tiga’s awesome in pretty much every way. He looks fabulous. Check him out on the cover of DJ Kicks, looking like a delicate hybrid of Nick Rhodes and Arthur Rimbaud, posing louchely on a plush couch. He makes awesome music on his own, witness his remake (with Zyntherius) of “Sunglasses At Night,” and even the elegiac “Dying In Beauty” and “Madame Hollywood,” present in mutated form on this very record. Plus, as it turns out, he’s a fab dj too. Not one of those celeb djs that the glitterati digs because he puts on an Arcadia b-side in between shout-outs to Paris Hilton. Nope, he has great taste in left-field source material that somehow still manages to be uber-danceable — Le Tigre, Soft Cell and Codec and Flexor, for example. And, as mentioned above, he’s a fucking good dj, able to balance the need for an addictive beat with the need to educate the audience that there is more to life than the same ten “standby” records seemingly available in every dj booth in the world. Nothing over-the-top in terms of technique, but you can definitely tell that he’s pushing a very individualized aesthetic pretty hard.
The transition between “Radio Jolly” and “You’re So Gangsta,” with the synthesized bassline just sliding in and taking over the whole fucking track, is pretty fucking cool in a very non-flashy sort of way. The pseudo-orgasmic coos of Tutto Matto’s “You” are fun, as a pervy Dee-Lite diversion, before giving way to a brutal industrial backbeat and deadpan female vocals to shame Peter Murphy. I’m tracking that record down. And oh man, he slowly segues the sinuous bassline and Kathleen Hanna-screech of Le Tigre’s “Deceptacon” about halfway through the Sir Drew track and then it totally busts out in its full DFA-enhanced glory. The sinister synth waves and electronic voices that populate Break 3000’s “Sacrifice” are totally gothtastic. Codec and Flexor’s “Time Has Changed” comes on like a house music Dead Can Dance. Amazing! Crowdpleaser and St. Plomb’s “Rather Be” is a carefully poised slab of melancholy electro with icy female vocals that evoke Mazzy Star and early New Order. Volga Select sounds like a suped-up instrumental remix of Roxy Music’s “Love Is The Drug.” Tasty! Tiga’s “Man Hrdina” and Swayzak’s “Ikea” effortlessly melt into one another in a miasma of downbeat blips and Numan-esque washes. The Martini Bros’ “Biggest Fan” is given an airing in its Black Strobe-altered form, a campy chunk of deadpan Erasure-esque quirk. Tiga closes an incredible set with one of his own numbers, the enigmatic “Madame Hollywood,” a synth pop tribute to Marlene Dietrich (yep) replete with metallic synths and impossibly poised vocals. Like listening to an ivory cigarette holder clutched in Steve Strange’s hand. Exhilarating.
!K7 Records: www.k7.com