Ivan Smagghe is obsessed with death. He plotted how to Kill the DJ with square records and even had the balls-de-laire to call a comp Death Disco in the 21st century. With partner Marc Collin as Volga Select, he’s come upon his most exquisite corpse yet, So Young but So Cold, culling singles from our forgotten French new wave allies. Nini Raviolette asks, “Suis-je normale?” like cadaverous Brigitte Fontaine dripping formaldehyde on a Moog as trucks rumble past her window. Members of the Stranglers and Gong reveal a Gaelic love of Bach and Star Wars that’s equal parts élan and ARP. Ruth’s “Roman Photo” and Kas Product’s title track do it best in their French femme voices, with beats shaped by Martin Rev pads, Polaroid whirs, and Polly Styrene molds.
Fellow countrywoman Caroline Hervé, who deadpans and DJs as Miss Kittin, feels love with one hand, cracks walnuts with the other. All the better to “beat that bitch with a hit,” as she shaddup-pushits like Salt-N-Pepa on her new I Com. You can feel her overcompensating in that too firm handshake; she pretends to pretend. She sleeps with her head in a speaker and introduces you to her manager with an unfunny pun, “Meet Sue Be She.” Whether Wi-Fi detached or preoccupied with a “Frank Sinatra” beatmatch to Miss E, Miss Kittin knows how you feel; even she professes to be allergic to herself.
Miss Kittin spins at the Canal Room July 21.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2004