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The Hacker - Miss Kittin & I Have Avoided the Fame Trap

Author: Jonty Adderley
Saturday, March 8, 2003
"Suddenly everybody likes your music when two weeks before they didn't know who you were. Me and Miss Kittin have avoided falling into the fame trap, we know how we started and where we come from and I think it's important to keep this attitude, rather than suddenly feeling like 'yeah, I'm the best, I'm number one, blah blah blah'. We were aware of that trap and we've tried to stay normal."

Speaking from his Grenoble headquarters in South West France, Michel Amato, is amused rather than excited by the attention that now accompanies his alter ego the Hacker.

Over the last 12 months following the release of Miss Kittin & The Hacker's First Album, he's become synonymous with quality electro while his label Goodlife Records (which is co-runs with Oxia) is equally highly rated for techno.

"In France we suddenly discovered lots of interest in us when we released the Hacker/ Miss Kittin album and did lots of interviews in the French press," he says.

"Lots of things changed here, because I started getting loads more DJ bookings, played at a lot more parties and received load more remix offers. I've basically been much busier during the last 18 months, which is cool."

And in addition to new commissions, his back catalogue has come under increasing scrutiny, which is presumably why acclaimed Swiss label Uwe decided to re-issue his mix CD 'The Next Step of the New Wave', bringing it out in the UK for the first time.

"This mix CD isn't really a new album because I did it over three years ago, so it's a re-release," Michel told Skrufff's Jonty Adderley.

"At that time, there weren't many electro mix CDs around, I like it but I was a little surprised when the record company reissued it. When I did it I wanted to avoid making a techno mix CD like everybody else, so I wanted to do something special by selecting all the electro tracks I considered to be important."

Skrufff (Jonty Adderley): 3 years on, are you still interested in these acts and this type of electro-

The Hacker: "Oh yes, of course. I'm not the kind of person who suddenly starts saying 'Oh, now I don't like something, just because it's been hyped and it's suddenly in fashion'. I still like it and I still think the tracks on this CD are good music. I also still play this kind of music when I DJ."

Skrufff: Do you view this electro trend as being a genuine new scene-

The Hacker: "Yes and no because before all the hype about electro, a scene already existed but it was a lot more underground. I hope that when the hype fades away that all the people currently making the music will keep it up, I hope they won't follow whatever genre is hyped up next."

Skrufff: How big is the club scene in Grenoble these days-
The Hacker (chuckling): "There's nothing really going on in Grenoble, it's not a big city. We're making music, for example, with my label Good Life but there's more of a music scene here rather than a club or party scene. There are no electro or techno parties in Grenoble at all, actually there's nothing to do. Maybe that's why we have time to make music."

Skrufff: Have you considered moving to places like Paris , London or Berlin-

The Hacker: "Firstly, I'd never move to Paris because I don't feel comfortable in that city while London is too expensive for me. Berlin is interesting but I like where I live because I think it's better to be in a quiet place to make music; somewhere where you're not tempted to go out every night. I'm that kind of person; if I can go out every night, then I will. There's no stress or pressure here of the kind you find in Paris or London, instead it's really relaxed."

Skrufff: Are you a celebrity around town these days with strangers knowing who you are-

The Hacker: "More than happened two years ago, yes, but not too much and it's not a problem. It's cool because whenever people approach me they just say 'I like your music, thanks for what you're doing' so I like it. I