Tiga/Various DJ Kicks

When the music stops, someone always ends up without a chair. But as electro-clash comes to a premature close, it won't be Tiga left standing. The venerable Montreal institution helped spark Canada's flirtation with retro-electro through his American Gigolo mix disc, his mega-popular Neon parties and his Euro-hit remake of "Sunglasses at Night." Now that he's achieved international cachet, Tiga has been invited to the big boy's table to compile a DJ Kicks compilation for Berlin's !K7 label. Previous custodians of this series have been such legends as Carl Craig, Smith & Mighty, Kid Loco and Kruder & Dorfmeister. Thankfully, Tiga doesn't waste the opportunity, staying close to his electro-roots but infusing a considerable amount of techno, which helps keep the vibe both spookily dark and undeniably funky. Playgroup remixes Chromeo's "You're So Gangsta," Traffic Signs coo in German on "The Big Fake" and Kathleen Hannah's Le Tigre shout the album's standout track "Deceptacon." Tiga also includes a few of his own productions, which are pretty good, if a little too obsessed with '80s new romanticism (see "Madame Hollywood"). But what really holds this together is Tiga's mostly impeccable taste and innate sense of pace. Alas, for those of you seeking out his kick-ass cover of "Hot in Herre," you'll have to buy it as a B-side to his house-influenced "Man Hrdina" single. (!K7)