Matt Walsh Talks to Miss Kittin



Ahead of playing alongside one another at London Electronic presents…Clouded Vision on Friday 16th Feb, Clouded Vision head honcho caught up with electro queen Miss Kittin for a conversation on subjects as diverse as the electroclash scene, Disco Dalmatians and confiscating mobile phones…
MW: Hi Caroline.  I wanted to begin by saying thank you for coming to play at my first London-based Clouded Vision label party.  I was on the floor many a time in the early days of Bugged Out! at The End when you were playing and even singing along while djing.
Will you be requesting a mic on the night?
MK: Hi Matt! I am very pleased to be part of such a nice line up. Happy to still be here in the scene to enjoy the inspiration of the new generation basically!
And no, I won't request a mic because I have my own one!
MW: “First Album” that you recorded with The Hacker defined a generation for me.  It was soon after I began djing and the double vinyl became one of my most worn-out records to date.   Tell me about the new album, are there any collaborations this time round?
MK: The new album is my first I totally written on my own, except 3 tracks with Pascal Gabriel and one with Gesaffelstein.
I played the early stuff to Daniel Miller (Mute) he said the simplicity of it reminded him of the first MKTH album, which was a great compliment.
It's a double, the first part is more "pop", Kittin style, in the continuum of what I did before, and the second part is electronica. I am especially proud of the second part. I think the first one prepares the audience to the second one. It's a very contemplative, introspective album in general, a testimony of what I learnt from life, death, traveling, etc… It's the result of my journey.
MW: The Prodigy’s “Experience” was my first glimpse of electronic music and smiley faces in the early nineties.  It also spawned the beginnings of my love for pushing the boundaries of fashion and haircuts. What was the music of your teenage rebellion?
MK: Ha ha Prodigy was big for me too! I played it often in my sets, in the middle of minimal tracks! It never sounded so punk!
My teenage rebellion music was definitely a bit earlier than that: Joy Divison, The Cure, The Clash, Depeche Mode of course. Anything dark and cold!
If I go back even more, I remember the first album on vinyl I ever got was Madonna, like a Virgin, present from my dad… I think it's a pretty rebellious present for a 10 years old!
MW: Do you think there will ever be another “scene” like the early days of electroclash, where making an effort in how you look and dance music went hand in hand?
MK: Of course, history is repetitive, like our music! Each movement is build against the previous one. After the overdose of fashion in Electroclash, everybody went minimal with dark designer clothes, and now I think it's back a little bit, with the emergence again of house music. In a timid way, but it's coming. But in London, you are lucky, people always make an effort to go out, in a much more extreme way that any other place on earth. I love that. London is the best city for me for shopping fun clothes to perform.
MW: I think I am pretty good at ignoring what I don’t need to listen to in music, but I can’t help but hear about EDM.  I always thought America was where dance music began.  What’s that all about?
MK: I have no idea! I just come back from the US, I can't stop beeing asked about EDM in interviews without having a clue of what it is. I had to ask. Journalists explained me it's a term including all kinds of electronic music to dance on… I could only remember of IDM, Intelligence Dance Music, in the late 90's, which was some kind of Warp experimental type of music and I loved. EDM has nothing to do with that. I heard I am also EDM! WTF! Next to Deadmaus and Guetta? I don't get it. But maybe these kids will end up one day in a Nicolas Jaar concert because of it, so whatever.
The electronic "dance" scene just turned into something so big, everybody wants to be a DJ and fly private jets. You can release one record on Beatport and suddenly everybody wants you in festival. There's no taste of effort and hard work anymore. It's generational. I don't com from there. I just had a long talk yesterday night with Gesaffelstein who had a fast success, he has no idea what it is to play for years in some warehouses in the middle of ex East Germany until you get your first big gig in a festival.
MW: What acts/dj’s are exciting you at the moment?
MK: Azari and III were amazing last year live. There is so much good music lost in the middle of it all. Ame and Dixon, Tale of US, Benoit and Sergio, Maya Jane Coles is extremely talented and smart in her approach, Heidi is doing great with her radio show. I also like Djedjotronic and the whole Boyznoise crew when they don't make noise! I am also excited about the new Autechre album. Haven't heard it yet, but I was listening to Amber few days ago, a masterpiece.
MW: A little bird tells me you have a Dalmation called disco.  Is she/ he a representative of your love for disco?
MK: Yes… I named her after the disco ball dots on the walls. She is deaf, which is ironic for a DJ! She loves music, vibrations… I took her with me in Ibiza, she ran away and got lost for a day, until someone called me from the parking of Amnesia. She just ended there, thinking I must be there… The weirdest story…
MW: What’s your favourite place on earth?
MK: I have so many… I can't name them all. At the moment, it has to be my best friend's sofa! I am off this weekend and that's our routine, I come over with a bottle of wine in pyjamas, we catch up, watch TV, laugh, until I fall asleep. I wake up in the morning and leave the flat while everybody else is still sleeping. I love it. I am so often away from my friends. They have a daily job, so my only chance to share a true moment with them is on my weekends off. That's exactly why I keep one off every month, to take care of my social life, real life. Thinking our job is to give a lot to unknown people all the time, I feel guilty not to spend more time with the ones I love.
MW: People holding a phone up at you in the crowd is beginning to be old hat these days.  What’s the strangest display of affection you have had from a Fan? 
MK: I've been thinking about making a party where phones are not allowed. Very often when the guy is insisting, poping his phone in front of my face, I take it away from him and it happend I never gave it back. It's insulting. I am not here to read personal messages, or let's stop the music, we sit, have a chat, I sign autographs and take pictures. Is it what people really want? A photo call? I am not the best person for that kind of action. I don't come from there. It's hard for me to understand that generational change. I think the best was maybe ten years ago in a huge festival in Holland, the room was about 10.000 people, it was so mad, people were throwing stuff at me and Felix da Housecat, including a flip flop we had to sign… No need to say the thing was so disgusting we didn't touch it! There was probably more than one guy with one bare foot that day. I thought it was funny. I also had paintings, clothes, teddy bears, and a ukulele…
MW: If your sound was a visual thing, what would it look like?
MK: A big landscape. I know it's an obvious answer but it's the only one I am thinking of. Because music is such a cinematographic thing.
MW: What did you do for money before music?  Have you had any odd jobs?
MK: Yes… I had summer jobs. I worked 2 summers in a row in a public swimming pool, men section. Not nice. Stinky, and dangerous. We even got attacked one day, I ended up at a police station with a cigarette burn on my arm… I was traumatized. Then I worked for 3 months in a huge supermarket out of town. As a cashier. I had to ride my bike 1h to get there and back… We had to stand, no sitting allowed, to go faster. We were classified every day, who was the fastest… At this time I was going to rave parties a lot during the weekend. My friends would wait for me out of the supermarket to drive for hours to the next rave. I had the worst timetable of all cashiers, my boss hated me. But I payed my tunrtables with the money. My parents thought I was crazy to have worked so hard for that. Later on they understood! But I never got a longer job. I was a student when my DJing took off. 
MW: Finally, what's your answer to everything?
MK: I always say a smile but that's true. Because you always end up knowing why this and that happened to you.
Catch MIss Kittin and Matt Walsh alongside Daniel Avery and Justin Robertson at Loft Studios this Friday, 16th February. Tickets and info over here.