Miss Kittin
I Com

By Benjamin Lehmann

 
Miss Kittin breathed new life into house music when she teamed up with Felix da Housecat on Silver Screen Shower Scene. As a DJ she has defined the sound of nightclubs all over the world with her choice selection of all things electronic, laced with her mesmerising stream of consciousness vocal delivery. I Com is her first full-length release.

After years of releasing material of the highest quality with The Hacker, it is a shame to see that Miss Kittin has exchanged his considerable production talents for the more conventional approach of Glove. The best track on I Com is Soundtrack Of Now, which is The Hacker’s only contribution. It’s a classic minimal techno track, with an expertly crafted acid hook. Swayzak’s album Dirty Dancing has shown that long-players devoted to the techno/electro house style can be highly expressive and thoroughly worthwhile. On tracks like Happy Violentine and Dub About Me Miss Kittin is trying to achieve a more confessional medium, adopting a Euro-pop style to this end. There is just not enough innovation with the typical synth strings and glassy pianos to redeem the tracks, and the result is that they really do sound like a pair of slightly cringing Euro-pop ballads. Meet Sue Be She is a Casio punk pastiche™ that might sound interesting if it had actually been programmed on a suitably lo-fi device. Like many of the tracks on the album though, it makes you think that the producers have never actually left the confines of their highly-polished studio. When Miss Kittin is on more familiar genre territory the album does begin to hit home. Requiem For A Hit is probably the most effective of the other more dancefloor-orientated tracks, combining tough analogue beats and tearing synth stabs with a violent vocal hook. Kiss Factory is a good example of Miss Kittin’s talent for expressing herself through everyday objects and events, much more interesting than the dodgy web analogies of the album’s title track. And the whole affair is almost redeemed by the final track, Neukolln 2, which is a truly original take on the early 90s rave sound. It has the sense of standing outside the party, listening to the muffled sound of hoover noises and basslines and it begins to put you in a time and place in the way that all long-players should.

Miss Kittin has a lot to offer as an artist, and her talents as a songwriter are unquestionable. I Com is disappointing because it sounds so removed from the singles and performances that have built her reputation. Check her Radio Caroline mix CD for reassurance.
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