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Miss Kittin

As a vocalist, Caroline Herve, a.k.a. Miss Kittin, is a familiar name among followers of what's been termed electroclash. In case you've managed to escape the media hype overload, the genre is populated with young bands attempting to pay homage to -- and put their own spin on -- early '80s electronic-based pop groups like Human League and Soft Cell, with wildly mixed results. Miss Kittin's breathy vocals on songs like Felix da Housecat's "Silver Screen Shower Scene" and "Frank Sinatra," her duet with German producer the Hacker, have earned her that fledgling scene's trendy respect. But it's behind the decks where Miss Kittin's true talent lies.

On Radio Caroline Volume One, which is patterned like a radio show, the Berlin-based Miss Kittin presents a soothing and aurally hallucinogenic mix. Blaze's "Lovelee Dae" and Alexander Robotnick's "Dance Boy Dance" are most illustrative of the set's common thread: warm tones and melodies snuggling up against sounds that on their own would be considered robotic and cold. Her intermittent vocal narration can border on vapid -- sorry darling, but we don't really care how many lipsticks you might have left in various hotels around the world. But her discerning song selection and smooth blending of records is hard to knock and reflects how much she is in touch with her audience. Radio Caroline Volume One proves that Miss Kittin will probably enjoy more success and longevity on the wheels of steel than on the microphone.

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Tamara Palmer

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