From his electroclash heyday in the early 2000s to his more recent house and techno forays, Montreal DJ-producer and Turbo Recordings boss Tiga has always managed to stay ahead of the curve stylistically.
One decade, he's putting out sleazy electro reinterpretations of guilty pop pleasures, like Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night" and Nelly's "Hot in Herre." And the next decade, he's going all underground avant-techno, like on his 2013 collaborations with Matthew Dear.
One thing you can say about Tiga: his sound never stagnates or becomes predictable. What does remain consistent is his command of any dance floor.
Crossfade: You've been in the game for going on two decades and switched stylistic gears numerous times. What do you think is the key to staying relevant on a scene where music trends are constantly changing and young artists are emerging all the time? How do you stay motivated, inspired, and continue putting out fresh-sounding material?
Tiga: Thanks. I can't speak about staying relevant, or even being relevant. But as far as staying motivated and inspired, I think it's a function of always wanting to get better at what you do -- always feeling that you still haven't quite cracked the code, and the desire to learn. You have to still care, and have to still have that basic desire to fall in love with music -- your music, other people's music -- just to be searching for that very basic feeling of falling in love with a track. As far as putting out fresh-sounding music, I just try to make things that are new to me, and sometimes you get lucky and that translates to sounding new to other people as well.
Turbo Recordings has been going strong for some 15 years, and the catalog boasts some wildly eclectic artists and releases. What is the musical ethos behind the label and what is your criteria for selecting artists and releases? Is there a certain aesthetic or quality you're looking for to define the label?
Both myself and my younger brother are simply looking for records we love -- that's it. Or at the minimum, a record we really like that we also think has some other merit or could do very well. I've always been quite open in my tastes, so it has moved around a lot stylistically, but I think there is also a subtle common thread that links all our releases. Again, I am just looking for records and artists that excite me, that create the desire to releases their music.
Back in March, you dropped the Turbo Miami Lifestyle compilation. Did you have a concept in mind for the release, tied in with WMC and Miami? How did you go about selecting the material you wanted to include?
Not such an elaborate concept, more like a simple game plan. We just wanted, like everybody, to have a nice showcase release ready for Miami, for the conference, and wanted to highlight some of our clubbier, DJ-friendly material. I guess that was the tie-in: that we see Miami as a more four-to-the-floor club and dance world, and so we wanted to emphasize that side of our catalog.
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How did you hook up with Matthew Dear for the collaboration as Audion on "Let's Go Dancing"? What drew you to working with him? What was the creative process and chemistry like in the studio?
Like most of my collaborations, I stalked them from afar, voodoo doll-style, biding my time and then pouncing when I felt they were ripe for the picking. I was a big fan of Matthew's music for years, and especially with Black City, I just really felt that he understood something that I was always looking to understand: kinda that grey zone between techno and pop, to simplify. I think he is hands down one of the best producers I have ever witnessed. Our chemistry so far has been really magical, both as friends and collaborators -- it could not have worked out better. He is curious, experimental, technically gifted, and patient -- all qualities I find essential, even if I possess only one of them myself.
We've heard that you're also collaborating with Audion quite a bit on the new LP you are currently working on. What can you tell us about this new album? How are things coming along creatively and what can fans expect when it drops?
Yes. It's coming along amazing, if a little slow, just 'cause I'm a little slow. It will be out sometime this year, and I think people, especially fans, will be really happy with it. It's a good mix of serious techno, pop, and most importantly, fun.
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So what do you have in store for us during your gig at Treehouse on Friday? What can partygoers expect?
It's one of the first shows of the year, which usually means a lot of new music -- a fresh start and some exclusives that I'll be road testing from the album. As always. I'll be throwing in some old classics, some new bombs, and making sure everybody has the night of their lives.
Tiga. With Danyelino, Hardline and Ms. Mada. Presented by Link and Miami Rebels. Friday, January 10. Treehouse, 323 23rd St., Miami Beach. The party starts at 10 p.m. and tickets cost $15 plus fees via wantickets.com. Call 305-614-4478 or visit treehousemiami.com.