TF Archives

Miss Kittin & The Hacker: I Still Don't Know How to Sing

Author: Jonty Adderley
Friday, November 2, 2001
Championed by the likes of DJ Hell, Felix Da Housecat and Sven Vath, French vocalist Miss Kittin is the robotic sounding singer best known for Felix's Silver Screen (Shower Scene) and her own breakthrough hit Frank Sinatra (co-produced with the Hacker). First released by Hell on his own Gigolo imprint in 1997, the song introduced the duo's unique vision of electronic music, laying lyrics including Mother fuckers are so nice. Suck my dick. Lick my ass', over a metronomic 80s-style electro beat. First Album continues in the same vein, mixing sleaze and infectious grooves with humour, acid and house.

"I found out I liked using lyrics and liked using my voice very simply, without telling myself that I didn't know how to sing. I still don't know but we thought, 'let's freak out', more in the style of Green Velvet or DJ Rush." French chanteuse Miss Kittin stretches out on the bed as she describes how she first discovered the unique qualities of her monotonal, yet strangely seductive voice. Carrying out a day of UK promo from a tiny hotel room in London, she's joined by her production partner Michel (aka The Hacker) a serious and charming Frenchman, who himself simultaneously runs his own techno label Goodlife). Partners in music (though not romantically as Caroline points out straightaway) they're polite and unusually courteous to each other. Skrufff's Jonty Adderley asked the questions.

Skrufff: You've flown into London for this day of interviews, what's your take on how this current war situation is affecting things-

Miss Kittin: "I know some DJs don't want to fly at the moment, they're scared or they couldn't get back home for a while. To me, the whole thing is very stupid. If it's Bin Laden (who's done it) I don't know why he would have organised something for five years just because he hates the US. I mean there must be another reason (involved) that the US isn't telling to the world. That's why I think this is all bullshit and what we have is not the real information, so I'm not reading any newspapers or watching TV. Because we will never know the truth. What do you think about it, Michel-"

The Hacker: "I'm a bit scared like everybody, I don't really know what to say about it. I've never really flown much before, anyway, so now I'm a little bit more nervous." (he stops as his mobile phone rings, playing a Tainted Love ring tone).

Skrufff: What is it about Soft Cell that inspired you-

The Hacker: "They used electronic music to make songs whereas nowadays techno is not about songs. I like it, but I wanted to do a song structured set up rather than using loops which go on for five minutes."

Miss Kittin: "Michel is really inspired by the 80s but I'm not. If my voice sounds 80s then it's an accident."

Skrufff: What was the club scene like in Grenoble when you both first met-

The Hacker: "We were the first people to get into the rave scene in Grenoble, there weren't more than twenty people in the whole area who liked the raving in the early 90s. Everybody else thought we were crazy with our stupid clothes but that's how we met. I'm still friends with all those people from the original rave scene, even after ten years. We have a record shop and we've created our own label from it."

Miss Kittin: "The place was a New Wave club before that turned into a dance and techno place. They'd be playing 2 Unlimited, U96 and all that kind of stuff, mixed with Moby's Go and Felix's Don't You Want Me."

Skrufff: How easy was it coming from a small French city, to connect up with people from places like Detroit-

Miss Kittin: "It took a while, first we had our ravers's life, going out every weekend to hear this or that DJ. Then I started DJing and Michel started making music, and I next met DJ Hell. He created Gigolo Records and asked me for some stuff. I called Michel and said 'let's do something'. I next moved to Switzerland and started DJing all around Europe while Michel released more and more EPs. This proje