by Don Crispy
DJ, producer, singer...this Kittin does it all. Caroline
Herve bares her claws to Metropolis
Electronica likes to think of itself as a progressive, forward-thinking
kind of future music. But when it comes to gender
issues, dance music seems to have its head in the sand. Among
the hundreds of DJs making the rounds of Tokyo clubs on any
given weekend, for instance, probably no more than a handful
One of the few legitimate female stars dance music has thrown
up in recent years is the French DJ/producer/singer Caroline
Herve, known better as Miss Kittin.
Already a stalwart of the European club scene by the late
90s, Herve was catapulted onto the global stage in 2001
when her appearance on Chicago house producer Felix Da Housecats
Kittenz And Thee Glitz went ballistic. Herve turned in some
deliciously deadpan vocals on tracks like Sliver Screen
Shower Scene, and the albums faux primitive electro
sheen made it one of the hits of the burgeoning electroclash
The end result was somewhat odd for Herve, though, in that
it resulted in her becoming better known as a singer than
a DJ/producer. This was compounded by the fact that her hit
single with production partner The Hacker, Frank Sinatra,
had already put her on the map as a singer.
In an email exchange, Herve said she first started singing
simply because she had things to say. She claims
that, while shes proud to be a singer as well as a DJ,
she has mixed feelings about her higher profile as a vocalist.
I sometimes sing when I DJ, yes. But I hate it when
people ask. If I am DJing, I am not obliged to sing; neither
am I obliged to play my own music. I am not a zoo animal.
I do whatever I want and nobody needs to say anything. People
can trust me.
In reality, as a DJ/producer with a decade-long track record
of spinning at top European clubs and raves and a slew of
production credits to her name, Herve embraces all her identities.
Her recent work, for instance, runs from the techno-themed
2001 On the Road mix compilation to this Februarys Happy
Violentine, which she says takes a subtler path to the
punk, riot grrrl chic of Professional Distortion and dance
floor jack of Requiem For A Hit.
Her sets tend to be eclectic outings that touch on her first
loves of Detroit and minimal techno, then run on to electro
and leftfield tunes that offer comic relief amid the razor-edged
beats. I can hardly describe my style, she says
on her website. A two-hour monotone set really bores
me. If I dont have fun myself, Im not able to
please people. DJing must be, in a way, something selfish.
Regarding her status as a female role model, Herve is circumspect.
As a woman, Im proud to be in the minority. I
cant say I was a direct macho-victim, but its
truewe mostly earn less than men, and sadly I think
you rarely succeed if you are fat and ugly.
In general, women are busy, or have better things to
do in life than being a DJ. I understand them. Like taking
care of home and raising kids when their husband is DJing
somewhere fucking groupies in hotel rooms! Ha ha ha!
Apr 1@Maniac Love. Apr 8@Ageha. See
club listings for details.
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