Born to a DJ who helped pioneer the party scene in Goa, India, Tiga seemed destined to proliferate the rave scene he now rules. As a self-described “rave and acid-house graduate from the early 90s,” the Montreal-based veteran DJ and dance music producer truly built the dance music scene in his hometown from the ground up. Emerging from a month-long stint in India as a teenager, Tiga began throwing small, intimate parties in Montreal that culminated in the city’s first official rave, Solstice, in 1993. The following year, he bought DNA Records, transforming it into a thriving, vital independent record store and hub for dance music aficionados; in 1996, he took things one step further by buying a dance club called Sona; two years after, that he founded his own label, Turbo Recordings.
The label is what directly launched Tiga’s own music career, but the surrounding context and his lifelong ties to the rave scene feel equally important. He graduated from remixes to original singles, and ultimately entire albums. His first official full-length, Sexor, came out in 2006, followed up by Ciao! in 2009. For the next seven years, he steadily pumped out singles and toured internationally as a DJ, but didn’t release a full album’s collection worth of songs. Until the advent of 2016 brought the announcement of No Fantasy Required, his third album out today via Counter Records.
“It certainly wasn’t a conscious choice,” he said of the gap, over the phone from Montreal. “It was just a combination of life being a really busy, me being a little lazy, and nobody giving me a deadline.” No Fantasy Required is a heady mix of his techno and rave roots, with a twist of acid house and plenty of co-writers and collaborators. Included here are excerpts of our conversation about the record’s pivotal title track, working with Hudson Mohawke, and and the song he would’ve played for David Bowie, given the chance.