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// DJ-Kicks: Tiga

tiga_kicks

When he gained a surprise hit in Europe with his jokey cover of "Sunglasses at Night" (produced with Jori Hulkkonen, as Tiga & Zyntherius), Tiga began receiving the kind of attention most techno producers don't want: mainstream attention. The campaign to rescue his underground reputation began with this edition in the increasingly essential DJ-Kicks series. His third mix album, it doesn't have much in common with the mimimalist techno and electro of Mixed Emotions (on his own Ultra label) or the throwback American Gigolo (another favor to the Gigolo label he'd blessed with its biggest hit single in five years of business). Tiga spends his time on DJ-Kicks digging deep into the dance underground, staying far away from the type of crossover electro that soon became more about fashion spreads than phono jacks, and quickly halted the momentum of true artists like Felix da Housecat, Christopher Just, and DJ Hell. An understated blend of tech-house with streamlined electro and occasionally a synth-pop nugget, DJ-Kicks aims for the mind instead of the gut and deftly hits its target: to avoid the present tense of contemporary musical trends and simply exist as great music. Easing the way are remixes from a trio of artists with the same viewpoint as Tiga's on the existence of electro as a blessing and a curse -- Detroit neo-electro heroes Adult. and Mo' Wax survivors Playgroup and DFA (the latter with a crucial version of Le Tigre's "Deceptacon"). Still, listeners will have to wait nearly an hour for the best (remix, that is), of Märtini Brös' "The Biggest Fan" by Black Strobe. By making sure any commercial impulses are subverted to the will of musical excellence, he's ensured he won't be forgotten by the fans; bring on the Tiga & Zyntherius cover of "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades"! [A reissue of DJ-Kicks added to the program Tiga's surprisingly successful cover of "Hot in Herre."]

— John Bush, allmusic

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