Miss Kittin

This is a difficult one for me to comment on, what with my musical taste generally revolving around arse-ugly Indie bands and 60s wannabees — what can I possibly say about European electronica?

I’ve no frame of reference at all. It was produced in Berlin; what do I know about German music? Let’s see…there’s Kraftwerk, David Hasslehoff…and that’s about it. What am I even doing with this album in the first place? Did I pick it up by mistake?

I first encountered Miss Kittin a while ago with the fantastic Frank Sinatra. When her debut album surfaced in the last month, I noticed, and bought it, also buying a copy of ‘The Killers’ debut so that I had something to fall back on. But generally, it’s pretty good. I don’t know if it’s actually good, of course, having nothing to judge it against — for all I know, could be much like somebody listening to Busted and claiming that they like punk.

Opening number Professional Distortion eased me in; it’s not particularly hardcore, and about as threatening as listening to a Casio keyboard on ‘shop demonstration’ mode. Enjoyable, but nothing here yet that’s converted me to the cause of electronica. Following on is Requiem For A Hit, which is dreadful — skipping from faux-hiphop (with lyrics like “I’ll beat that bitch with a hit!” repeated approximately one million times) to sloppy modern-day R&B. Do I even understand this music? Perhaps I’ve really picked up the wrong CD.

Third track, Happy Violentine is better, while Meet Sue Be She is the liveliest track so far and I find my foot tapping along to the beat as if I’m in some sort of goddamn nightclub or something. Kiss Factory is calmer; perhaps this is what they listen to in the, the, chillout room. Perhaps. I like it, anyway, and I’m starting to think that this CD was a good purchase.

Heh. ‘Meet Sue Be She’. I just got that. Crazy Germans.

Enjoying it though I am, I still don’t really feel like I get this music. The fast tracks, I think I understand; this is music to dance to, and my lone tapping foot appears to concur. The slower ones, though…not sure here. Maybe I need a beret, thin cigarettes, and a neater goatee. My body is screaming out at me to listen to Miss Kittin repeatedly declare that she’s “allergic to herself”, and to nod my head knowingly, so that any passers-by see and think “Hey, he really gets this music, you dig?”, but I resist. I’m the only one here.

Perhaps I’m just reading too much into this, expecting too much. I’m enjoying it; isn’t that enough? Maybe it’s like reading Animal Farm when I was a child — enjoying it on one level at that age, and then growing up and enjoying it on an entirely different intellectual level. Will I keep listening to electronica, and then one day it’ll just dawn on me, and suddenly all my clothes will have UV paint on them and I’ll know what a cyberdog is?

Naah. The truth is, while I’m enjoying this music, it’s just not speaking to me. I’m up to track seven now, and there’s not been a single track that sends shivers down my spine or makes me want to hold a lighter in the air, and that’s important to me. That’s what music means to me; if it doesn’t provoke any emotion at all, then it’s just not doing it’s job. Miss Kittin is background music, and with the exception of a couple of beat-happy tracks, it’s mostly cold and harsh and probably supposed to be that way. It’s as if I’m listening to the score of a thriller.

The title track, I Com is dreadful, by the way; as if Miss Kittin has only just discovered the internet, and wants to believe that there’s something pretentious and highly intellectual about it, instead of the avenue for porn and adverts that we all know it to be.

I started writing this entry actually thinking I was going to be positive, but having really listened to the whole album, intently, I’ve cooled. Don’t get me wrong, though, it is good, and I’m glad I bought it and will certainly listen to it again. But I can’t enthuse about it. It’s far away enough from my usual tastes to make it noticable to me, so when I’m in the mood for something different, something will be available, but it isn’t going to act as a catalyst to get me into the electronica scene. It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.