Miss Kittin

Radio Caroline, Vol. 1

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Some listeners have always suspected that Caroline Herve's Euro-princess persona, Miss Kittin, was a bit of an act. But as her detached vocal delivery has become more and more ubiquitous, it is exceedingly difficult to tell where the character ends and the real person begins. With her first stateside mix CD, Herve finally tears down the facade, proving that she is much more than the champagne-toasting chanteuse that her sensual accent and fashionista lyrics have always suggested. Granted, Miss Kittin continues the practice of speaking over the tracks, offering challenges such as, "How can you be a DJ if you don't shake your ass in the middle of the ground?," but following an opening statement about her life and family, Herve has already informed listeners of which voice she is using to speak. Almost as a side effect, Herve also proves that she is a wicked DJ, easily blending hiccupping beats by IDM operators Autechre and Pan sonic into subdued house rhythms compliments of Blaze. Click-stepping German minimalism, hyperspace Detroit techno-electro, and even languid trip-hop beats all deftly come together with precise manipulation that few DJs would ever have the nerve to pull off. As the title says, Radio Caroline is a far more esoteric and complicated musical place than the sleek electro-trash ghetto where Miss Kittin is usually placed. The only concession made to the nouveau sound comes with the inclusion of Alexander Robotnick's "Dance Boy Dance," but even that selection rides the line between wave and techno. This mix will surely surprise the public, whose only perception of Herve is her electro-fad alter ego. But to the increasing amount of fans who are tiring of that particular strain of dance music, the surprise is a pleasant one.

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