Über Miss Kittin
Caroline Herve grew up in Grenoble, France, listening to her parents' record collection -- a splendid mix of Genesis, Supertramp, Miles Davis, Maria Callas, Pink Floyd and the Beatles. Her introduction to the world of electronica took place during the early 1990s European rave scene, when she danced to the KLF, LFO, Aphex Twin and Autechre. It was in pursuit of her own interpretation of this sound that she met the Hacker (Michel Amato) in a Grenoble club. Her career as a DJ began as the result of an argument with a boyfriend over correct technique. He challenged her to prove her point, which she did on the first try, which is not surprising given that one of her hallmarks as a performer is a Digweed-esque precision behind the decks. The first records she bought to play out were Richie Hawtin's Fuse and Robert Hood's The Protein Valve. It took her three months to earn enough money at her job as a supermarket cashier to buy a secondhand pair of Technics decks, both of which she still uses. As the gigs started to pile up all over Europe, she recorded "Frank Sinatra" in 2000 with the Hacker, and sent a copy to DJ Hell. Their timing was perfect -- the brittle electro beats and her flat deadpan Flying Lizards-style vocals combined to create a club anthem. The naughty lyrics didn't hurt either, and soon Felix da Housecat was calling for vocal help on "Silver Screen Shower Scene," positioning the now-dubbed Miss Kittin as a leader in the electroclash genre. Never one to be pigeonholed, her style moved closer to techno, and she took a residency at Sven Vath's Cocoon club in Frankfurt, where she showcased her infatuation with leftfield IDM, classic house and old disco. Her key releases, First Album (2002) and I Com (2004), express more of the electro side of her musical canon, but experiencing her live performance is quite different. Her gigs are evenings of wild abandon with funky beats, tunes from across the decades and flawless mixing, while she sings live over the top of it all, driving the crowd crazy with her look-but-don't-touch DJ diva style.