Miss Kittin and the Hacker

Miss Kittin and the Hacker

The First Album

Emperor Norton

Having already sharpened her claws with Felix Da Housecat, Golden Boy, The Detroit Grand Pubahs, and her own solo DJ spinning, Miss Kittin now teams up with fellow French countryman The Hacker on the appropriately titled The First Album.

I’m sure you’ve heard about the infamous first single from these two — “Frank Sinatra,” the track on which Miss Kitten laughs coolly “You know Frank Sinatra? He’s dead. Dead!” when in fact, Mr. Sinatra was alive — only to die six months after the single was released in Europe.

Now released on The First Album, “Frank Sinatra” joins other tracks about sex, strippers, nurses, and the Stock Exchange. From the chilling purrs of “Life On MTV” to the detached boredom of “Walk On By,” Miss Kittin’s cool-as-ice vocals lace each track with a dark sensuality, while The Hacker’s electro-noir drum machine and synthesizer are clinically sterile, merging The First Album into a new wave enthusiast’s dream. Even the track “Walking in the Sunshine” is chilly.

Miss Kittin uses her vocals almost like another instrument, changing from ice queen to bored socialite as the song dictates. On “Stripper,” Miss Kittin’s dulcet coos grow louder and louder while she proclaims, “>My girlfriend is a stripper” over a wonderfully twangy synth line polka-dotted with distortions. “Stock Exchange Woman” is almost criminally reminiscent of early Depeche Mode, though I doubt Dave Gahan ever sang about seducing Japanese traders. Her vocals are even noticeably processed on “L’omme Dans L’ombre,” a song sung both in French and English. While few musicians are willing to directly address their listeners in song, Miss Kittin breaks that fourth wall with the personal “You And Us,” challenging the audience to “Listen to Miss Kittin and the Hacker/because this is what our music is about/you and us,” defining the very essence of the performer/audience relationship.

So, listen to Miss Kittin and the Hacker, have a dry martini, and talk about Frank Sinatra.

Emperor Norton Records: http://www.emperornorton.com

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