Random Facts With… Tiga
Tiga is one of those omnipresent characters within this thing called the electronic. The origins of Montreal born DJ/producer/Teutonic legend Tiga lie to the East, where he was weaned on the nefarious milk of the notorious 1980s Indian club scene. Never taking himself too seriously, he’s a highly eloquent soul whose records have appeared at sporadic times over the years, always sounding very relevant and ‘now’ to these ears.
His most recent collaboration with Matthew Dear as Audion ‘Let’s Go Dancing’ seems to have been everywhere this summer. Last time we asked him and Erol to interview each other they tore up our questions and proceeded to ask each other whatever so they so pleased. Which is all well and good but given the chance to sit down with Tiga for a Random Facts was too good a chance to pass up. What follows is said conversation taking in sharks, light refractions and how he sees himself fitting into this world.
R$N: Ill start with something a bit strange. Apparently protitutes in Greece wore sandles with imprints that said follow me on the ground to attract clients.
Tiga: Seems to make sense! I mean, on the bottom of the sandle though?
R$N: Yeah, on the bottom of their shoes.
Tiga: It’d have to be wet sand
R$N: Indeed! (laughs)
Tiga: It seems like it’s made up!
R$N: Seems like a bit of a stupid fact.
Tiga: A coi fish named Hanako was owned by several individuals over many years lived to be 226 years old dying in 1977.
R$N: Not bad.
Tiga: Yeah! I know of coi fish that live for a long time. A lot of fish are ridiculously old. Crazy. I get a bit creeped out by that to be honest with you. They discovered a cat fish thats like 600 years old.
R$N: 600 years old?!
Tiga: Yeah, that’s a fact.
Tiga: It should be noted that all facts are facts until they’re not facts.
Tiga: You know, most of it has to do with time.
Tiga: Most of it’s a function of time, I mean it’s funny, they really are facts, undeniably until they’re completely not.
R$N: Until they’re proven completely unfounded.
Tiga: Well that’s the nature of how it goes. The certainty of uncertainty. It doesn’t take very long, it can take a second. But back to creepy fish, there’s definitely something weird about when, I don’t if it’s because of how we see our own maximum ages and how living till 88 seems about right but the thought of a living thing, like a heart that’s been actually beating for let’s say 200 years, it’s creepy. There’s just something really strange about it.
R$N: It must be pretty tired by that point.
Tiga: I guess, well I mean, the thought of it is terrifying. That’s the thing, everyone talks about wanting to live forever but if you think about it its really terrifying. I think I’m going to live a long time. There’s no question. It’s your turn! That’s a fact by the way, that I’m going to live a long time! (Laughs)
R$N: (Laughs) It only takes 6 minutes for the brain to react to alcohol.
Tiga: Yeah sure, why not. But the thing is, everyone’s brains are different, there’s all different types of people, different races all react differently. I mean, I guess the best thing they could do is say that that’s the average. That’s meaningless otherwise.
R$N: Yeah, I react badly to alcohol
Tiga: You’re like 4 minutes!
R$N: Yeah, it just doesnt agree with me.
Tiga: I’ve never been a drinker
Tiga: No. Saving it.
R$N: Yeah, now and again is okay.
Tiga: It seems like one of those things that for a lot of people it’s a blast. But I’m saving that stuff. Those are like cards you can play at any time. You don’t need to play them when you’re 19, although it makes sense, but you might need to play them when you’re 226.
R$N: (Laughs) I’ve got quite a good one about sharks
Tiga: Yeah go on, I love sharks.
R$N: Sharks are immune to all known diseases.
Tiga: I think that’s not true. The problem is, are you on twitter?
R$N: Yeah, Im on uberfacts.
Tiga: This is a larger problem. I mean, obviously they have to be simplified as they’ve got to turn these things into a little phrase so it’s almost like marketing, facts marketing. It’s probably mostly true, I know they have an incredible immune system and they’re kind of alien in that way. Sharks are just completely different, they can detect electricity and they have a completely different electro-magnetic system. They have all kinds of incredible skills that you could roughly throw together and call alien. It is true that they’re immune to a wide range of diseases though, certainly to ours.
R$N: I’ve just gone and delved a bit further than that. Than 140 characters! Basically sharks seem to possess only one class of broad spectrum serum antibodies, similar to that found in human infants. In humans, this broad spectrum class of antibody is replaced by more specific antibodies as the child matures and is exposed to greater varieties of pathogens. Conversely, sharks retain this specific immune response throughout their lives. This generalized immune system is one of the reasons sharks are able to detoxify any potentially harmful compounds without any prior need of exposure. Sharks injected with carcinogens and bacteria and toxins in concentrations that would kill most vertebrates outright have de-toxified these pathogens and survived without ill-effects.
Tiga: Fantastic. I love sharks. I really do.
R$N: Have you swum with them?
Tiga: No I’m a really bad swimmer! That’s not really how I want my love affair to go down. It’s more from a distance. I repect sharks. There’s a lot of things about them that are fantastic and beautiful. Like how they always move forward and how they sleep in the same way. It kind of begs the question, why don’t we have that?
R$N: Yeah, why have we not evolved to that?
Tiga: I mean, what could be more fucking aggravating than some Chinese boat catching them and chopping their fins off for soup. Meanwhile, they can handle cancer no problem. They can’t handle some guy with a knife who wants some soup. Don’t get me started!
R$N: Alright. Let’s leave on the fact that sharks are pretty impressive creatures.
Tiga: Sharks are fantastic.
Tiga: Russell Brand takes homeless people out for meals and just talks to them and tries to help them.
The hair on a polar bear is not white but clear and reflects light so they appear white. That’s a nice one.
R$N: Yeah, I didnt know that.
Tiga: But isn’t everything like that? Though that’s no such thing as colour, all light refracts?
R$N: All light refracts, so there is no colour?
Tiga: Yeah, that’s what I always thought. Nothing has a colour, I thought it was all about light. (Laughs) You know what is really great, and I think about this all the time, I think that with our generation its like no-one knows anything with any real conviction. Youll be sitting around talking to your friends and its exactly like this bite-sized fact thing. Everyone knows a little bit, kind of, about everything.
R$N: Yeah. Like politics!
Tiga: Yeah politics, economics, even how everyone speaks. Everything just has these fuzzy edges like I think, kinda, you know. And so few people have the real confidence to call people out on it so it’s kind of like I’ll let your shit go if you let mine go.
R$N: Yeah, that’s only been accentuated by social media hasn’t it? People just see bite sized bits and pieces now on social media and then they bring it up in conversation without having read the actual article at all. Or even not going into the article just reading people’s comments about it.
Tiga: Or just the fact that to begin with, its just an article. Its like the equivalent of just saying that I read something in a magazine. Even with that, the original source is pretty thin.
R$N: Which has come from a press release.
Tiga: I guess in a way though it almost doesnt matter.
R$N: No. So long as it incites insightful conversation.
Tiga: You know, I dont think that matters either. I think in the end it just doesnt matter. 90% of people, their opinions dont matter. In the end of it, its whether they really know what theyre talking about. All they really want to be doing is talking to each other to get some underlying social motivation. I guess in the end its like window dressing anyway.
R$N: Yeah, absolutely. How do you see yourself fitting into that?
Tiga: I dont fit into that.
R$N: And how do you see yourself fitting into the world, I guess?
Tiga: (Laughs) Thats a pretty good question! Its quite a large question. I like that for an interview. How do you see yourself fitting into the world?
Um, I dont know I think I see myself as quite a lot of how everyone else sees themsleves. Its like a combination of incredibly special and incredibly ordered. And the two, theyre quite intertwined. I dont know. I see myself as like, I have the luxury or I try to… I read a lot of books, and I dont want to say I avoid new media stuff but I just, I think its like a generational thing, I dont have a Facebook. Facebook isnt part of my life. Its not part of my life because it doesnt have to be. But if I was 16, maybe it would have to be. Maybe it would be important to me. Its like a choice. The whole, that discussions over. Im just like everyone else I guess. (Laughs)
R$N: Okay! (Laughs)
Tiga: I dont know. I mean its hard to talk about that stuff. The simplest way to put it is that everyone respects different qualities. Eveyone aspires to and respects different qualities. And for myself, the people who I most respect and the thing that Ive always aspired to be, I guess I respect intelligence. So who ever that is, whether its Vladamir Nabokov, Aldus Hovley or David Foster Wallis, you know those people that are really aggressively and rigorously persued that life of the mind where every stone gets turned. If they have an idea or whatever it is it gets persued. I guess what Im trying to say I that I value truth most of all, which ties into this I guess because were talking about facts. The irony of course being that theyre not the same thing.
R$N: Sure, yeah. Absolutely. I get the feeling that animals are of an interest to you. Why dont we explore that?
Tiga: I love animals. But hold on, heres something interesting. Sim cards contain a complete micro-processor with ram, rom and its own operating system.
R$N: I didnt know that! That’s interesting.
Tiga: No, me neither. Come to think of it. I dont know anything about technology. Like really, I know nothing. I mena, how things actually work, I have no clue. Shokcing! I really dont know how anything works technologically. Do you?
R$N: Uhh, not hugely no! I have some basic understanding of it.
Tiga: I dont even have a basic understanding of it.
R$N: (Laughs) Its interesting though because the sort of music that you make is quite
Tiga: Id like to, its ridiculous actually, especially with what I just said about leaving no stone unturned. Its crazy how you use these tools contantly every day, and you know what, I should actually pick up a book on the ultimate basics of how computers, cell phones etc actually work.
R$N: Did you know, I was talking tomy developer the other day and I said how would turn off the internet and he said that apparently theres 8 places in the world that youd need to turn it off. Theres 8 points in the world and youd have to turn them off but they all have a huge amount of stuff involved in shutting them down but its no longer all centralised.
Tiga: I used to think for a while that it would just be amazing if it got shut off.
Tiga: Then I though for a while it would be amazing if it just became incredibly expensive. Imagine if it was just, straight up, for rich people. (Laughs)
Tiga: But now, honestly, if I really had the power to do something. How amazing would it be if it was just, the internet does not work on Tuesdays.
R$N: (laughs) That would be a nice idea,
Tiga: How amazing would that be? Thats it. It just doesnt work one day of the week. So then theres no old-school vs new-school blah blah about what its doing to peoples brains, its just like 6 days a week everyone does their regular shit where they dont look at each other and blah blah blah. Then one day a week its just like, woah. Ive actually got to talk to people, go outside, read a book. I think its a fair compromise.
R$N: Yeah, a sabbatical for the internet.
Tiga: Exactly. An internet sabbatical.
R$N: I think that’s a really nice idea.
Tiga: And not even a Sunday. Sundays are pretty nice as it is. I like to just lay in bed and read about football all day. Itd be nice like mid-week.
R$N: Yeah, and then even people who were still working would get a lot more work done I think.
Tiga: Yeah, thats a major problem. Its kinda too boring to get into but for awhile I was reading a lot about really big powerful CEOs, bankers and big industrialists amd its this idea of working around the clock and always being plugged in and multitasking. Its a bit of a new jack idea. Its not necessarily the way to be an ultra high performaer. A lot of these people, they have very velar rules like they do not pick up the phone on a Sunday. Its actually based on old religious ideas of respecting the Sabbath and propably those originated as personal productivity tips. Because those things work. Disconnecting at a certain point for a fixed amount of time really works.
R$N: Sure. I agree! Its something that my girlfriend encourages me to do all the time.
Tiga: Sometimes when Im touring, when I dont have as many set demands on me,its just like do your show, and so long as you do your show right youve got your manager and other people taking care of you. A lot of the time, youll find yourself with a chunk of time in a hotle and youre kind of tired and a bit spaced out and then 6 hours later youll just emerge and youll realize youve just been literally starting at a screen doing nothing. Youve just been doing tiny little pieces of nothing that add up to nothing.
R$N: Yeah, completely.
Tiga: And theres no cumulative effect. Its not like I did 600 tiny things that equal one thing. Its like you did 600 tiny things that equal nothing.
R$N: Yeah, and then nothing has been created at all. Its just half bits of everything.
Tiga: I think to blame technology at this point is a ridiculous argument because its always been the same. Its always been the same theat its just accelerated. Technology is just a beautiful thing. The real issue now is that were going througha period of time where its extremely hard to decipline yourself. Thats whats happening. Its on every front. We live in a time where discipline isnt valued and people just arent trained for it any more. People dont know how to do it and everything feeds into that. So, the rewards that come with discipline Im sounding like am S&M Maddam (laughs) The rewards that come with discipline are many and theyre denyed to most people now.
R$N: Okay, so rather than blaming technology, how does one discipline oneself? (Laughs)
Tiga: (Laughs) This is great! Umm, well I think like a lot of things its taking the hard road. Its denying yourself easy routes and easy escapes. Well, to bring I back to the facts, a perfect example is to look at what we did with the shark thing. Youknow, thats something thats genuinely interesting. We both thought it was interesting.
Tiga: Neither of us are going to do shit about that. Were not gonna follow. Actually, I might follow it up But I guess the point is that something entered our consciousness that was interesting and by interesting it means that there was something natural coming out of us. There was a natural curiosity. Now that curiosity got sided very quickly and very easily. It got sided enough that youre kind of over it. Your thirst got a little bit quenched. You went into phase two and you googled it and it was like Okay weve kind of got it. But obviously we didnt really get it, were not going to really remember it. Now the question is, if you didnt get the quick satisfaction, if instead you were forced to go get a book about sharks, read the whole book and the quick satisfaction wasnt there, the slow burn quenching allows for a different kind of retention. And this is where the discipline comes into it you know, the harder it is to get things, usually, the better it is that you retain them. Its the same as how you remember the really shit stuff that happens to you. Because they were harder lessons. This is what I always think about with djing, with music and djing it was always on the van-quard of this phenomenom, because the core of djing and music was always difficult. Getting music was always difficult. It took a lot of effort, it took all your money, especially if you lived somewhere other than London. The search was difficult. The difficulty of the search, by its very nature, can add to the value of the acquisition. You treat it differently psychologically. The question of what happens when that gets totally flipped on its side and you can get hold of all the music so easily, I can only speak for myself, its made it harder to remember tracks, and in some ways, not everybosy as some people have coped super well, it just seems harder to get that basic attachment to something.
Tiga: That basic like, this is MY track because I busted my ass to get it. That was a lot of philosopy.
R$N: No no, I went away for a while and came back about 5 years ago and things were going pretty digital
Tiga: You just went away?
R$N: Well I was working in the music industry for about 7 years and just became very disillusioned with it and then my girlfriend of the time Sorry you dont need my life story but Im going to tell you anyway and then my girlfriend of the time
Tiga: Youre an ego-maniac! (Laughs)
R$N: (Laughs) Ill stop
Tiga: No, go on!
R$N: No, I cant now! (Laughs)
Tiga: No go on, seriously! (Laughs)
R$N: Well basically, I dont know why Im getting into this but it was more about the point of coming back into this environment and it was quite a strange, alien environment. 5 years ago digital was starting to take over and I guess it comes back round to this conversation that were having now is because the reason why, you know like I said when we started off, you and Erol basically went off and asked each other your own questions and completely disregarded the questions that wed asked you and asked your own which I thought was great. But because theres this sort of churning of information going on at the moment, and Im part of the problem dont get me wrong.
Tiga: No, you know, how I see it now is that I love life right now. I love how it all is. I really enjoy the status-quo right now and I look forward to the future. I enjoy it on a hwole bunch of levels and thats partially because I just think its great. I think the opportunities and the technology that happening is fantastic. The only kid of asterisk on the end of it is that I think that for what ever reason you were in the music business in the last 20 years, you got a front row seat to a lot of the majoral cultural changes.
Tiga: Thats all. In a lot of ways I think you really got one the most up close and personal views of it and it think now that this is entirely personal but I feel like now Im through to the other side. Like, Im done about talking about the goods and bads of social media its finished were through the other side now.
R$N: Yeah absolutely.
Tiga: Its very exciting, it is what it is.
R$N: Yeah, to finish off the point that I was trying to make, and Im not just doing a massive line of coke As you talked about, we are sort of coming out the other side of it because there are so many online publications and people are just trying to create this kind of noise and things like picking up the phone and talking to somebody rather than just sending them a list of 10 boring questions about your favourite record.
Tiga: And so when it comes to the amount of music and publications or whatever it is, quality still does rise to the top in any area.
R$N: How do you do things now then? Do you use CDs or Traktor?
Tiga: I use SD cards. Ive been doing it for a while, over 2 years. I do vinyl once in a while. I havent used CD in a long time. The SD card, I think, in fairness I wrestle with it. At times its amazing and ther times its not and I entirely blame myself. Its 100% a question of how your brain works with organization and programming and I think for me, just my natural temperament where I struggle sometimes without limitations. I think I perform best with limits. Whether thats having 140 characters to make a joke, I like that, or if someone says heres 80 records in a box, better make the best set you can. So when it gets to the SD card and Im trying to fiddle around with 3000 of my favourite songs, sometimes it works really well and sometimes it doesnt. I havent completely found a system that works well for me and I really dont want to have a computer with me.
R$N: Could you not limit your sd cards to X amount of records?
Tiga: I could, but now were back to the issue of discipline, which let’s be honest, we all wrestle with.
R$N: Good, alright. Thats great.
Tiga: Are we done?
R$N: Well, its up to you! Again, this comes back to that everyone is caught in that perpetual motion knowing that the other person is always busy and they have things to do so maybe lets just do another couple?
Tiga: We can end it like that, or do another one. I dont mind.
R$N: Ive got quite a nice one actually. Back on the animals. Cows have best friends.
Tiga: (Laughs) I like that. Im a vegetarian as well so I appreciate that.
R$N: I think thats quite a sweet little fact.
Tiga: I think that one day, Im not preachy and Im not a tree hugger, but I think that one day the arrogance with which we assume as far as the way animals interact with each other and what they know and what they dont is going to be revealed to us as a giant mistake. So that definitely makes me feel good about not eating cows.
R$N: I think youre right. My parents brought me up vegetarian
Tiga: I was not brought up vegetarian, I never even considered it. It just wasnt something I thought about. But then a few years ago I read that Eating Animals book by Jonathan Safran Foer and it just clicked. Its an interesting example of exactly what I said, even me, a thinker and a reader, where major things that you live your life by and never even question and then as soon as it was brought to my attention, boom. It just made a lot of sense.
R$N: It was something I struggled with in my teens but then I came back round to vegetarianism.
Tiga: Its not easy but my theory thing is that Calfce story, you know he went to an aquarium and he looked at this big beautiful fish and he said Mr fish, now I can really look you in the eye
R$N: Yeah, right! Nice!
Tiga: Its a nice thought. Here we are, and I can just look you in the eye, creature to creature.
R$N: Right, a perfect one to end on. It actually brings us back to where we began. Theres a type of jellyfish that lives forever.
Tiga: Wow. See, I mean thats a beautiful thought as well.
R$N: Its called Turritopsis Nutricula. So there you go!
Tiga: It puts things into perspective you know. We think were so hot. (Laughs)
Tiga: Yet we struggle around with our clumsy, I always think of it as an airport You know, all the announcements, and you board your plane and seatbelts and the gas and fuelling and youre like a bird flying by. But all our stuffs just so clumsy. But a jellyfish that lives forever is a beautiful thought.
R$N: Yeah, I like that.
Tiga: I always used to love those books when I was kid full of those electron microscope photographs and youd realize that as far as imagination and science fiction are concerned, its all there. Like the trippiest most acid vision is there somewhere, you just have to look at a sea anemone or a weird insect. So that thought of an eternal jellyfish, thats some beautiful trippy action right there. Cool.
Tiga: I’m happy. You know what, thats the best fact Ive heard all day.
R$N: Great, well maybe well pick it up in a year. Do an animal special in a years time when youve got something else going on.
Tiga: Sure! I like that. Its like When youve got your new album well do an animal special!
R$N: (Laughs) maybe we can do it around the name of album or something.
TIGA: Well, Im gonna go tell my brother about the jellyfish. Hell be into that.
And there we left it… Tiga’s collaboration with Audio ‘Let’s Go Dancing’ came out a while ago now. It’s ace. There’s a slew of remixes about to drop as a remix bundle on 10th November. Full details on that here.
Check the original mix below… and the rest on this link here – it’s all about the original for us.