ELISABETH ESSELINK is my kind of person. Not only is her musical nom de plume, Solex, the same as that of her cat, but said feline is named after a cool, European scooter company. The cat was christened as such because her mother--a larger version of Solex with a motorcycle engine-volume snoring habit --was named Harley.

Thankfully, that sort of quirky, stream-of-conscious puzzle-making isn't just a cute anecdote. It's indicative of Solex's overall, songwriting approach. While electronic music is overcrowded with quirky personalities, this techno chanteuse's clever ideas make her the pick of the litter. On the first Solex record (1998's Solex Vs. Hitmeister), Esselink sampled loops off bargain CDs from the record store she owns and operates in Amsterdam. For last year's Pick Up, she gave herself a whole new challenge: all the samples are from live bootlegs she made herself. While initially just looking to make it harder for copyright mongers to take her to task over the found sound, Esselink eventually, "became addicted to the whole bootleg trip. I carefully planned the gigs I would go to. Some shows are real easy, like jazz or classical music. That has more to do with the venues where those genres are booked. They're a bit posh. They won't ever think of searching your pockets for a small DAT player. I had to forget about rap or hip-hop for obvious reasons."

As cool as this sounds, it's cause to wonder where Solex falls on the hot debate of intellectual ownership. Isn't her music little more than high-tech thievery? "People who feel I am stealing are absolutely right," she answers, "but everyone should try it at least once in their lifetime. It's good."

Ironically enough, by taking the show on the road, Solex now must recreate her stolen, live music in an actual live setting--a real conundrum. That's no real worry, though. After all, she shares her name with a cat and they always land on their feet.