EP Review: The Picture - Tiga

It has been some time since we last heard something fresh from Tiga so it is a double pleasure to see Crosstown Rebels celebrating their 100th release with this new track from our favourite camp Canadian techno enthusiast.

The Picture - Tiga

It being on Crosstown Rebels 'The Picture' is unsurprisingly Tiga at his most dance floor focused. A tight barrel of drums, glitchy rhythms and skittering bleeps and beats create a dark atmosphere. It is capped off with Tiga's vocal - drenched in reverb he brings his own personality to a Prince vocal. The track reflects Tiga's love of techno and, well, Prince, though I can't help but miss his more flamboyant side... The vocal here may have started with Prince but little else did.

Accompanying 'The Picture' is Subb-an's remix of one of Tiga's best records, 'Pleasure From The Bass'. Here it is given a similar feel to the A-side - a tense analogue bass line chorus and near-ultrasonic white-noise glitches provide the main foundations and that original killer bass hardly gets a look in. It's a contemporary take on a track that never really aged anyway, but it is a joy to hear it again even if it is the inferior version.

The Picture is a decent release for Crosstown Rebels' centenary, but if only we could have had Tiga at his best - we are a long way from the mechanical fury of 'Burning Down' and it feels like the music world needs a little more of that Tiga these days.

Album Review: FabricLive 48 - various mixed by Filthy Dukes

FabricLive 48 is something of a return to form for the series. Of sorts at least.

Following a recent mixture of slightly too fashionable, genre-of-the-moment artists and non-descript mixes FabricLive 48, under the control of the Filthy Dukes, gets back to the bread and butter of what the FabricLive discs can be when they are at their best.

It's eclectic, wonky disco, house and acid drenched tech-house. And it is pretty much all right up BlackPlastc's street. Aeroplane's mix of Sébastien Tellier's 'Kilometer' is still gloriously paced, thick like treacle. 80skidz 'Miss Marz' still sounds timeless, energetic with a hint of melancholy and The Proxy remix of Tiga's 'What Your Need' descends into suitable chaos as the Soulwax mix of Daft Punk's 'Robot Rock' kicks in.

But here is the problem: you probably know all of these tracks. And you probably know most of the other tracks on the album too. There are some great, inventive moments - Mr Oizo's 'Pourriture 7' mixing into Jack Peñate's 'Tonight's Today' is one such stroke of genius. And some tracks are good enough to survive the exposure - we certainly don't resent hearing Lifelike's 'Sequencer' more than is strictly necessary. But, seriously... BlackPlastic does not need to hear Mujava's 'Township Funk' again. Probably ever.

FabricLive 48 is like a mix album made by a friend featuring a stack of you favourite records from the past year or so. It would be a great mix to hear out but without much inventiveness in the tracklist this is unlikely to keep you coming back.

BP x

Album Review: Ciao! - Tiga

There is a lot of talk at present of an electroclash resurgence. A second wave. With new albums from DJ Hell, Kittin & The Hacker and Peaches it is perhaps easy to see why. What is strange though is that many of these acts have distanced themselves from this sound already - Miss Kittin's rather good I Com was a move into a purer techno sound and whilst the follow up Bat Box may have been a misguided move into goth it the techno sound of the former disc she is known for as a DJ. Hell's last album, NY Muscle, was an attempt to distance himself from the obvious trappings of the electroclash genre and Tiga's debut wasn't remotely close to electroclash anyway. The only track Tiga has done that could be labelled as such is his collaboration with Zyntherius on their cover of 'Sunglasses At Night'.

What's more it seems that some semi-amateur hacks (and BlackPlastic puts themselves into the category) seem content with using the 'resurgence of electroclash' as a tool to beat up on Tiga specifically. In their recent review of Peaches I Like Cream Fact magazine said Tiga's comeback was best off ignored.

Which is total, complete, pathetic horseshit. Horseshit because it reeks of lazy sideswiping - an off the cuff comment to pad a two paragraph review. So here's the deal: Tiga's debut, Sexor, was a great record. And Ciao! is better.

To call Ciao! electroclash is to exposure yourself as a knowledge-less pretender to the whole world. This isn't electroclash, it's definitely closer to techno than that. What's more it has ideas and songs and the production is always spotless.

Every track, whether it is the quirky and hard 'Mind Dimension', a revision of Tiga's own 'Move Your Body' but much better, or the anthemic tears-on-the-danefloor closer 'Love Don't Dance Here Anymore', delivers something a little different. The production work of a team consisting of Soulwax, James Murphy, Gozales, Jesper Dahlbäck and Jori Hulkkonen shines through but Tiga still makes this all his own.

How does it compare to Sexor? There's no contest. Ciao! is a noisier, more assertive album. 'What You Need' is grinding and distorted to the sassy quirkiness of 'Shoes'. There are also several house ballads - 'Turn The Night On' and 'Speak, Memory' for example - that manage to actually deliver. Ciao! Is an album with both more variety and consistency than Sexor.

Ciao! may not be redefining genres.  It may not be confounding expectations or giving wannabe hoxtonites something new no-one has heard of. But what it does do is consistently deliver ideas and deliver them well. If you are would rather snigger at the back because Tiga isn't the fashionable wünderkid he was once then so be it - BlackPlastic will be on the dancefloor having more fun.

Available now from Amazon.co.uk on CD , LP  and MP3 .

BP x