Miss Kittin Interview

Miss Kittin is a charmed citizen of the Earth, DJing throughout Europe and the globe for a decade. She has a new full length out called I COM on Astralwerks, which features her vocal talents over a wide variety of club-friendly beats. Through her label, We were able to set up an email interview, which she preferred to a phone conversation. Her typed answers came back after several days. She chose to use color for her responses; we are going to stick with her artistic intent: you can read her words as she wrote them, in vivid red. Current tour dates at end of interview.

Better Propaganda Editor Terbo Ted talks to Miss Kittin

betterPropaganda: How would you describe Miss Kittin to someone who's never heard of you?

Miss Kittin: To go on my website and read my biography...

bP: Your current album I COM is introducing you to a wider audience, extending far beyond your reach as a DJ. What is that experience like for you?

MK: It was always about challenging myself, having fun, without thinking about the consequences really. So I would say, the experience was a lot more about ignoring what people would expect than to be trapped into that kind of "marketing" fear.

bP: Obviously, your skill with vinyl turntables is significant. Do you ever plug your laptop into the mixer during your DJ sets, and what do you think of laptop DJing and DJs in general?

MK: I am in love with vinyl. I already spend a lot of time in front of a computer every day, so it feels better to me to stay visually in touch with vinyl, sleeves and artwork. But I don't criticize the ones who use computers or CDs, if it's really bringing something to their technique and style.

bP: How do you use computers in your music?

MK: Mostly as a sequencer. I use Cubase SX. Now I can put my voice in it and cut, distort, and play with it without limits, which is a great freedom but it can also kill the spontaneity. I don't use it with The Hacker for example, we still record everything live.

bP: Do you expect people of our generation will still be going to parties with turntable-style DJs when we're elderly? I kind of half expect there to be a wave of Technics 1200 purists trading parts and repressing 90s favorites when we're in our old age...

MK: Technics turntables are still the same than 20 years ago. Can you imagine... All around the world, in every club you go to, the same turntables are used. It's pretty amazing considering how fast technology is evolving... I don't think this will change soon.

bP: Your adult life so far has been all about music, and also partying. Do you expect to keep up with both throughout your lifespan?

MK: I don't know. But when I look at it, music has been a big part of my life, but only a part. I more see music as a tool to live the experiences I have to make in this life. But no, it's not all my life and on top of it, I try pretty much to live in present time, not in the past or the future.

bP: Do you still do any graphic design? You studied design in school...

MK: Oh, I somehow do it in an amateur way when I draw for my website or my album artwork. It's more drawing than graphic design honestly.

bP: Your liner notes say 'BEFORE I BURN MY HAIR' next to a photo. Did you cut your hair and then literally burn it? What's the story there?

MK: Ha ha. I shaved my head for my 30th birthday, as I did for my 20th! I was tired of people asking why I cut my hair so I said I burnt it.

bP: More and more, we're starting to hear this term 'post-rave.' Some folks like yourself have been actively participating in the electronic dance music culture for ten, fifteen years; there's more and more kick ass DJs in their 40s and older even. Styles, equipment and so on have constantly been in flux, yet some things about the parties stay relatively the same. What does post-rave mean to you?

MK: Nothing. It's just another journalistic term. I still go raving. The rave feeling can take place anywhere, in a fancy bar, in a warehouse or in a forest. I call rave feeling when it gets out of control, when people forget about the codes and just sweat in trance, something like that.

bP: Love Parade seems to have peaked as a 90s phenomenon, and you were front and center for some of it's biggest moments. Looking back on it, what are your thoughts about the Love Parade?

MK: was never a big fan of the parade in itself, I mean the 1 million people demonstration on day time. But I totally agree with the impact of such development, where electronic music enters in the mass-people's picture. Because it is a major musical social phenomenon. Though, my place is definitely at night, in the parties, not on TV next to some sausage brands.

bP: Your musical tastes are very eclectic, and we hear you playing distinctly different styles on your new album. Somewhere you mentioned that you're into Probot and Queens of the Stone Age, which sound nothing like your current range of sounds. Do you ever see yourself in the future fronting a live hard rock band?

MK: I would love to, but I should stay humble with that: I have no live-band experience at all... But that's exactly why I may try one day!

bP: Have you ever been a Nina Hagen fan?

MK: Never, really. She started in this club in the area where I live though.

bP: You're from Grenoble in the Alps. Are you a skier or snowboarder? Do you ice skate?

MK: I used to ski and snowboard a lot. I even did monoski! But I got an overdose... I stopped a long time ago. I did a bit of ice skate too, at school...

bP: You also studied ballet. You must have some killer dance moves from that sort of training. Does your ballet background help you in any way with your musical self?

MK: It taught me to be focus, how to stand properly, to coordinate moves and to develop a musical ear.

bP: You've had a chance to travel extensively through the global party circuit. Obviously, different places on the globe take turns being 'the place to be' in any given season. As far as you can tell, in Summertime, 2004, what spots in the world are the places to be for parties?

MK: Probably still Ibiza for the after hours, and Spain in general. But I also love Belgium and Holland for the amazing festivals, Scandinavia and Germany have good ones too.

bP: You've done so many amazing things, and have lived the past ten years doing what you like, you seem very fortunate. Certainly there have been some low moments along that time as well? Have you had any setbacks you've had to overcome to get where you are now?

MK: Believe me or not, since I started, everything was evolving harmoniously, step by step. I don't remember any downs so far.

bP: Can you mention a specific fantasy or goal or dream you'd like to fulfil in your musical career?

MK: He he, maybe this heavy metal band you were talking about before!!! Ha ha!

bP: What are your plans for the rest of the year?

MK: More great gigs to come, and more regular free time to visit family and friends.

7/21  New York, NY @ Canal Room
7/22  Chicago, IL @ Sound Bar
7/23  Washington, DC @ Nation
7/24  Montreal, PQ @ Rialto Theater
7/27  Toronto, ON @ The Mod Club
7/29  Los Angeles, CA @ Key Club
7/30  San Francisco, CA @ Mezzanine
7/31  Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey

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