Is Miss Kittin a perceptive cynic with a sharp understanding of the complexity of fame and fortune? Or just a self-obsessed egomaniac?
In 2004's "Professional Distortion," over dreadful beats, dark guitar riffs of impending tragedy, and samples of her own panicked breathing, Miss Kittin laments, "I have to write, I have to shout, I have to play records all night, I'm in the loop, I am the loop, I have to make up, dress up, show up."
Kittin alternately deplores and indulges in her celebrity status, and is particularly conflicted when it comes to sex appeal. She speaks out against the lopsided focus on the physical appearance of female performers—albeit not exactly insightfully—saying, "I sadly think you rarely succeed if you are fat and ugly." She also takes the small step of refusing to wear high heels on stage due to the impractical nature of foxy shoes for a performer who is on her feet for hours at a time. Yet her cutesy, girlish persona is exactly what defines her. Kittin is all pouty lipstick, bangs, and sexy costumes, and actually gained a lot of her fame with the hit "Frank Sinatra" and accompanying naughty nurse attire.
This 2001 hit gave a significant boost to Kittin and long-time collaborator The Hacker, becoming a prototype for the emerging electroclash scene that seemed so exciting at the time, but ultimately evolved into a soulless train wreck of a music movement. While most of the other major names of that scene faded into a black hole, Miss Kittin's sound progressed. In 2004, she released her first full-length solo album, I Com, which was all over the genre map with jackin' house, rap, and minimal techno sounds. The reviews were as mixed as the tracks.
Her new album BatBox is a much more focused effort. She's lost some of the experimental dead weight, narrowed down the genre span, and kept all the lean meat—her trademark disaffected monotone droning, electro-pop sensibility, and self-involved lyrics that—whether authentic vanity or poignant masquerade—make her such an intriguing figure.