[Interview] Staying Cool With Tiga & The Crusade Against Boring Records
After contributing material and production to Tiga’s 2016 “No Fantasy Required” LP, an organic collaboration formed between the the Turbo Recordings and fellow Montrealer Clarian, the two have come together for one of a slew of projects that have set the former’s eventful spring and summer season.
The result of that collaboration, an amazing Acid Techno package, “Stay Cool/You’re So Special”, which this Friday, 13 July, sees the release of its diverse remix package, featuring interpretations from a trio of Turbo artists – Absolute., Beton, and Dimitri Veimar – alongside Eats Everything and, today’s exclusive premiere, Gerd Janson, who also offer their own versions.
Additionally to the “Stay Cool/You’re So Special” packages, Tiga also has collaborated with Kölsch on the former’s recent collaborative imprint, IPSO, with the current breakthrough, ‘HAL’ while planning out a handful of No Boring Records parties around the world. With all this going on, and after a two year hiatus from interviews, we managed to catch Tiga in between World Cup matches for a chat on all these topics and, of course, a bit of football thrown in for good measure. At the end, make sure you take a listen to the exclusive premiere of Gerd Janson’s remix of ‘You’re So Special’.
We’ve been coordinating a time to talk around the World Cup timetable. What have been your impressions on the tournament so far?
I am pretty obsessed. I’ve seen almost every game but it gets a bit complicated with my flight schedule. I think its been a fantastic tournament so far, even in the early stages where sometimes you get meaningless games. I like the new video replay system.
I think Belgium is playing really well, which was not really a surprise but nice to see. I was disappointed to see Spain go out but they had coaching drama so it’s understandable. I didn’t think Germany had a good team this year so that didn’t surprise me so much. I could talk for hours on it….
I was disappointed when Japan got knocked out but they seemed to have had some success regardless…
They took one of the top teams right to the brink and played fantastic. The thing about the World Cup that’s crazy in single game elimination format is, on the one hand, everything can be decided with one goal, which could be a fluke or error. On the other, tricks, habits, and experience really does come into play because, for example in the Japan game, they showed a certain amount of naïveté. On that corner, when you’re about to get to extra time, you don’t go for the goal. You aim for extra time. There, you can see a team that isn’t used to being in that situation. Still, it’s all been very fun!
Let’s talk about music then as you have a few releases out right now. Firstly, let’s talk about your collaboration with Clarian – Stay Cool/You’re So Special. How did the collaboration come about? What can you say about Clarian’s artistry that compliments your own?
Clarian is a fellow Montrealer and we come from similar circles and friends. We met years ago as we would do some engineering and songwriting together and always got along very well. We also have a lot of shared interests. We both like 80s music and old pop stuff. He is not so much from the Techno world. More from the band/pop world, but we still gel very well together. He is very talented musically so he can help me develop ideas. We gain momentum and things move along very quickly when we work together. Since he lives here, we developed a nice routine of going to the studio together.
You guys were able to physically sit together and work on the tracks then?
Yes. Everything we have done has been made in the same room together.
What about the remix package of the release? It is very diverse in the sense it features interpretations by everyone from Eats Everything to Dimitri Veimar. What was your goal in curating the artists for the package?
On Turbo we usually do a bunch of remixes so in a case like this it’s a combination of featuring our in-house artists and get them more exposure and also having friends on board. Dimitri is one of our favorites. Absolut, the same thing. Benton as well. These guys are really on the up. As for Gerd (Janson) and Eats Everything, they are friends of mine. I give them the records and, sometimes, they really like them. It all happens pretty organically.
We featured a mix from Dimitri recently and it’s one of my favorites of the year so far…
We all know it when we hear if someone has their own sound. It is a subtle difference on Electro/Techno with Dimtri. I find that a lot of Russian artists are like this. They just have their own angle on things. It’s a bit different and you don’t get this feeling that he is part of a scene with thirty other people that sound the same.
The whole crypto angle is an interesting intangible with him as well….
…that’s a whole other conversation, but yes.
I’ll ask the same question about your collaboration ‘Hal’ with Kölsch. I know you guys have been friends for a while….
Kolsch is a bit different because we don’t come from the same circles and don’t really have the same sound. This collaboration started with a friendship and a lot of shared interests. We kept bumping into each other over the years. Again, this one happened quite naturally. We kept meeting each other, having dinner, hanging out, and talking about cars and watches, so it just made sense eventually.
What was the track’s original seed that grew into the completed production?
I recorded a bunch of analog stuff, synths patterns, and drum loops. We ended up using them on a couple of other tracks as a starting point. We really had a loose mandate as it was just two guys trying to make some tracks, at least on my end. A collaboration is like a relationship. You are secretly looking for someone else to complete you. Other people can offer things that you may not be too good at. I think Kolsch makes epic, emotional Techno. There is a largeness to it. A lot of my stuff is different so I liked this. I was also looking for something more expansive. The track came together very fast, as the good ones tend to do. The only thing we added after the fact was the vocal sample.
Do you have plans to perform back to back in the near future?
We have done a few and just did a big one at Off Sonar, which was really good. We did one last summer at DC10. I’m sure there will be a few more coming up. We are actually doing the IPSO ADE party. Im not sure if its b2b but we will be playing next to each other there.
Speaking of back to back, I wanted to ask about the No Boring Records concept. It was born last year as a Sonar b2b with Seth Troxler but what is the philosophy behind it?
It’s not a revolutionary concept. Personally, I find myself playing so many shows and different types, that you can fall into patterns or survival mode. You start playing records where you know the reaction already, using “reliable” tracks. The idea was a party where you are deliberately playing records that you don’t tend to play, don’t think you can play at other events, or records that are off the beaten track. We all have those piles of records. Some are better than others at integrating them into their sets. When I did the b2b with Seth, it got very loose and we felt more able to explore stranger avenues.
When I say boring though, it’s not necessarily criticism. A lot of dance music is built on boredom. Many records we know are just tools. They are effective but not necessarily exciting. The idea here is to turn away from that utilitarian approach.
What are the immediate plans for No Boring Records?
I think we are doing four parties alongside Seth Troxler, The Black Madonna, Jackmaster, and The Martinez Brothers. There will probably be a few others but to begin with we will do these four at venues we know and love.
Finally, I wanted to ask you a question I ask many artists these days. How do you maintain mindfulness while being in the throws of travel? Do you have any processes, protocols, or rituals in order to do so?
For someone like me, I’ve been doing it so long that the entire process becomes a ritual. I think since you don’t have so much time, everything happens right after each other. A regular person makes plans for a month to go on a trip but for me it all becomes to compressed. Everything from packing to passports and visas becomes systematized.
It’s definitely challenged for your sanity; I think more than people talk about, which is why so many people drink and do drugs. The number one thing you are up against is fatigue.
I read a lot on the planes. I listen to podcasts. I take a lot of naps. I am very structured with my time. I also think it is important to get something else out of the travel experience, even if it just taking a walk. You should do something that reminds you that you were actually there. Most people don’t realize that you can miss a lot from the places you are travelling to because things happen so fast. You go from your hotel to the gig to the airport without having seen or done anything in the place, and this happens a lot.
“Stay Cool Remixes” is available 13 July on TURBO Recordings