New DJs often jump straight into whatever sound is popular, because they feel this is what they need to do to succeed. It’s weird, because they don’t understand that there is actually a lot of value in specializing. It’s actually easier to be noticed when you niche down, to become the leader of a small group rather than a simple partaker in a sea of thousands. It’s sad to see hundreds of DJs basing their sets off of the Beatport Top 100 or Billboard charts, rather than trying to build their own sound. There are a number of different types of DJ/Producers who all have their place in the world, and I think different spheres have slightly different standards. I tend to value the DJ types who have their technical aspects down to a tee, but also have a sense of flow – those capable of taking us somewhere with the music rather than just meandering. Those consistently playing tunes that we’ve never heard before, but are loving.
One such DJ/Producer is Roman Cigan (who goes by the name of Cigi – a nickname picked up during childhood), was born in Slovakia but moved to the UK, near London, where he now lives. Roman Cigi has long ago stepped out of the box as a music maker and mixer. He can re-contextualize any music in a creative and novel way, and has a breadth and depth of knowledge of different genres through which he can flow effectively. All of which he forges on his latest one-hour set “Dubai Opera”. The set progresses nicely from start to finish, the tracks ordered in such a way that “Dubai Opera” builds in energy, but also has its peaks and troughs, taking you on a seamless journey of sound.
A great song can help breathe fresh air into life’s many mundane moments, but a truly special mix can take you on a trip where time melts into itself. You can mix in one of three ways: not at all, in a perfunctory manner, or really fucking well. Roman Cigi goes with the latter, and is ample proof that his method has the potential to make you ecstatic on its own merits. For almost 64 breathtakingly exciting minutes of beyond-belief blends, Cigi shows that he is a star in the making, and “Dubai Opera” is a mightily impressive calling card.
The majesty of this set lies in its ability to transcend any specific context, though the Middle Eastern flavors grow more powerful as the set proceeds along its path. It is archetypal rhythmic club music, curiously earthy, percussive and enduring. Having said that, it cannot be denied that the setting in which it will be encountered will add to its appeal. This is for intense weekends where emotions are running high and the musical canvas is your sole oasis of satisfaction.
All throughout “Dubai Opera”, Roman Cigi sounds barricaded by novel tracks, insistent beats and countless sounds – the tightness of the mix presenting a force to be reckoned with. However, none of this technical showmanship tries to obscure the purely musical, immediate, impact of this set – one which will, I hope, become a classic of the genre. Roman Cigi is one of the most well-rounded, consistently innovative, true-to-the-craft new breed of DJ/producers currently around.