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Canadian DJ/producer Tiga effectively works the underground and the mainstream with his wry brand of campy electro and stark techno. He initially garnered club buzz for his covers, including a breakthrough 2001 take on Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night." He gained yet wider attention after winning the Juno Award for Dance Recording of the Year for 2006's Sexor. Tiga has continued with releases on his own Turbo label, including 2009's Ciao!, 2016's No Fantasy Required, and numerous singles. He has also collaborated extensively with Zombie Nation (as the duo ZZT), Matthew Dear's Audion moniker, and Hudson Mohawke, with whom he produced the 2023 album L'Ecstasy. Born in Montreal, Canada, Tiga's first exposure to his future came from touring the Goa area of India with his DJ father throughout the '80s. Following in his father's footsteps, Tiga began spinning in Montreal's cooler clubs in the early '90s, bringing the acid house sound to Canada. Seeing as how there weren't any events like the Goa parties he had attended, the DJ made his own, and was later credited with throwing Canada's first proper rave. The events continued as Tiga opened one of the earliest techno-only record stores, DNA, and he also started the Turbo label with fellow DJ Mark Dillon. The DJ was comfortable playing and releasing other people's music and didn't seriously concentrate on creating his own tunes until the 2000s. After spinning Miss Kittin & the Hacker's version of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" at a club, Tiga had the idea to record some kind of cover version with Finnish DJ and friend Jori Hulkkonen. A day in the studio yielded a disappointing version of Prince's "When Doves Cry" and a better version of U2's "New Year's Day," but it was their version of fellow Montreal resident Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night" that the duo decided to release in 2001 under the name Tiga & Zyntherius. It was a huge hit and Tiga rounded out the year with two successful mix CDs, American Gigolo and Mixed Emotions. Interviews, remixes, and touring kept the DJ busy until he helmed an edition of K7's successful mix CD series DJ Kicks. In the DJ Kicks tradition, he recorded one new track, "Man Hrdina," for the album, which the label released as a single. Most DJs chose the single's B-side, an electro version of Nelly's "Hot in Herre," and both the single and the mix CD were re-released to feature the surprise smash hit. The relentless schedule of a successful DJ meant Tiga's debut full-length album didn't come until 2006. Sexor, which featured co-productions by Soulwax and Jesper Dahlbäck and gave an obvious nod to Bryan Ferry on the cover, won the 2007 Juno Award for Dance Recording of the Year despite its relatively lukewarm critical reception. It was around this time that Tiga began to collaborate with the Munich-based producer Zombie Nation, working as a duo under the name ZZT. They would put out a steady stream of EPs on Tiga's own Turbo imprint over the next few years, the first of which, "Lower State of Consciousness," was a maximal update of Josh Wink's "Higher State of Consciousness" and was treated to a Justice remix on the B-side. Returning to his solo work in 2009, Tiga's second album Ciao!, also on his own Turbo label, fared rather better than his debut, and boasted James Murphy on the songwriting and production credits of two tracks. ZZT's first full-length, Partys Over Earth, appeared in 2011. No Fantasy Required, Tiga's third solo effort, emerged in 2016 and significantly upped the ante in terms of guests, featuring long-time collaborator Jori Hulkkonen as well as acid purists Paranoid London, Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters, Matthew Dear, and -- as heard on the ominously trippy lead single "Planet E" -- Glaswegian producer Hudson Mohawke. The next year, Tiga issued the single "Woke." More singles followed in 2018, including "Stay Cool," "HAL" (with Kölsch), and "Blessed" (with the Martinez Brothers). The following year, he launched the Last Party on Earth podcast. The pulsing "There Is No Distance Between Us" appeared in January 2023. L'Ecstasy, a full album with Mohawke, arrived in December, featuring guests Channel Tres, Abra, Jesse Boykins III, and Elisabeth Troy.
© Matt Collar & David Jeffries /TiVo


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