Miss Kittin & the Hacker’s eponymous First Album (2001) was a bare-bones onslaught of the burgeoning electroclash sound of the time. Appropriately released on DJ Hell’s International Deejay Gigolo label, Miss Kittin (aka Caroline Herve) delivered vocals that rarely left the mold of monotone chants, like a commanding Big Sister from a dystopic disco, while the Hacker’s (Michael Amato’s) backing was all tinny drum machines and faded analog synths. Despite its confrontational nature, singles like the jokingly potty-mouthed “Frank Sinatra” (“To be famous is so nice / Suck my dick / Lick my ass”) established the duo as masters of their cold craft.
Though she was working prior to this, it's safe to say Miss Kittin's career truly began with 2000's "Frank Sinatra". As career highlights go, never mind first bows, it's a pretty enviable one-- over the Hacker's brilliantly stupid rinky-dink ur-techno backdrop, Caroline Hervé speak-sings self-absorbed bon mots like "To be famous is so nice/ Suck my dick/ Kiss my ass," over and over with a dispassionate cadence. Miss Kittin's aloof sex-on-ice charisma, paired with synthesized tunes that exploited that detachment ("Stripper" and "Life on MTV" proving you can judge a book by its cover), made First Album a trailblazer for that like-it-or-lump-it music movement known as electroclash.
No one does blank, bitchy fashionista ennui quite like Miss Kittin, with her trademark blend of menace and melancholy. On last year's sleek Batbox, she proved there was life in a shtick that, by rights, should have burned out half a decade ago in the dying embers of electroclash. But even as she pulled it off against the odds, one sensed the line between success and failure was being cut ever finer; and, in hooking up with her original partner in crime, the Hacker, Kittin has fallen on the wrong side of it.