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Fri, 20 Feb 2009

Miss Kitten and The Hacker Release

Some nine years since Miss Kittin (Caroline Hervé) & The Hacker (Michel Amato) exploded into the globe’s consciousness with their groundbreaking debut ‘1st Album’ we now finally see the pair re-united for their second album, simply titled ‘Two’. Individually, as writers, artists, DJs and producers they are a force to be reckoned with. Together again as a duo, they are unrivalled. 'Two' is released 20 April on Miss Kittin's Nobody's Bizzness.

Of course neither has been quiet in the intervening years. Both headline globe-trotting DJs in their own right their own solo albums (Kittin’s ‘I Com’ 2004 and ‘Batbox’ 2008 and The Hacker’s ‘Rêves Mécaniques’ 2004 and ‘X’ 2008) and numerous mix CDs (‘Radio Caroline’, ‘Bugged Out!’ and ‘A.N.D N.O.W‘) have kept them individually in the spotlight but it's been far too long since the release of their era-defining classic ‘1st Album’…but wait no more, dear music lover, for they are back with a bang. And you'd better believe, it's a big, cosmic ‘bang’. Between ‘revisited’ and new tunes (‘Belgium’, ‘PPPO’ or the superb cover of Elvis Presley's ‘Suspicious Minds’), Miss Kittin & The Hacker leave behind electroclash contrariness and unmask a perfectly accessible, more elegant, more mature and more distinct - yet, still pop - side.

Miss Kittin & The Hacker have not only forged a new path on this impressive collection of new material, but also, by transforming and remodelling their many musical influences, they have fashioned a club-based European cyber-pop of their very own. Sparkling like a prized jewel amidst the deluge of drugged-up minimal techno and neo-rave kids electro, the album features a wonderful, stellar sprinkling of metallic soul, glamorous space disco, glossy vocal nuances, crystalline beats and swirling melodies. The music possesses a sexy androgyny, glistening and pulsating. And as for the songs? Sometimes narrative, sometimes confessional, direct and alternatively clouded in mystery. On the opening ‘The Womb’ we find a gently lapping, intergalactic introduction that succumbs to a tumultuous thumping early Madchester style robo-rhythm with Miss Kittin intoning ‘Evolution’ in her best Shaun Ryder. An opening blast-off. ‘1000 Dreams’ begins life in the land of Space's ‘Magic Fly’ and ascends into a lovely warm euro-tinged track with a nod to Propaganda and classic 80s synth pop. A beautiful melody line from The Hacker sends the track into the stratosphere. This is also the second commercially available single release from the album. ‘PPPO’. Or, if you prefer: People, Pleasure, Objects, Power is what Nitzer Ebb might have sounded like if they were sexier. This is electronic music at it's best, bursting with energy, hooks, dynamism and power. Watch out for this track on a pre-release to the clubs as the first single complete with Function's (Sandwell District) remix, before the album release. ‘Party in my Head’ is classic Moroder meets disco era Blondie - on Saturn. A dance track, which conjures up visions of dry ice, ultra-violet lighting and spinning mirror ball reflections and set to be a future single later this year. ‘Indulgence’ is a full-on electro-rock ‘n' roll EBM dance-floor work out which will sound extremely dangerous gushing forth from a huge speaker stack in a club whilst ‘Emotional Interlude’ provides an image of Düsseldorf lingering in the foreground with a Miami (or perhaps Detroit) skyline at the back as Kittin intones a sinuous mantra over The Hacker's growling bass drones. Gorgeous. On ‘Suspicious Minds’ we find that the spirit of the King lives on in this sweetest cover version and the first Kittin & Hacker vocal duet. Had he been around, the King would have gotten on down to this - in his white suit of course. ‘Electronic City’ is original metal beat minimalism (Conny Plank / John Foxx style) which then dissolves into the purist of neon melodies. A wonderful and extremely moving track, contrasting (and then fusing) starkness and warmth. ‘Inutile Éternité’ or Futile Eternity sees the BBC Radiophonic Workshop guided by The Hacker who has kidnapped Kittin and teleported her to Spirea X. Ultra-Nu Beat for the 21st Century. ‘Ray Ban’ is potentially the perfect TV ad soundtrack for your favourite after-hours shades and eye-wear brand. ‘Is it grey? Or blue?’ What is reality? Sometimes, it's not so easy to tell when one steps out of the club and finally ‘1000 Dreams (Reprise)’ is a luscious electronic lullaby for the end to a perfect evening bringing the album to a soothing and gentle close. Miss Kittin and The Hacker hit the road in 2009 and will be appearing live across Europe from April onwards, hitting the USA in September and then onto Asia and Australia. Miss Kittin & The Hacker play live at Pressure @ The Arches, Glasgow on Friday 1st May and Matter, London on Saturday 2nd May and the Tivoli, Dublin on Sunday 3rd May. Their full European tour schedule is here:

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