Two

29.04.09

Eight years ago, Miss Kittin and The Hacker’s First Album was the enema dance music needed as it was about to burst with the gluttony of superstar DJs. But it’s a very different world now, and one which they’ve individually played their parts in shaping since their debut: Kittin, having been both the electroclash queen and given techno a sexier makeover, and The Hacker, whose distorted sonics set a template for acts like Agoria and Justice. And coincidentally or not, they’re also reuniting at the same time as two of the other electroclash originators – Hell and Fischerpooner – return with their own new albums. But whilst half of Hell’s magnum opus Teufelswerk is pure prog rock and Fischerpooner’s Entertainment is an unwelcome reminder of electroclash’s most embarrassing joke, Two is more a streamlined remodelling than a radical reinvention or tired retread. The ’80s influences are still omnipresent – be it in the proto-acid of The Womb, the electro-pop of 1000 Dreams or Indulgences grinding EBM – but the sound now feels more soft focus than hard-edged, with synths bathing Electronic City in a warm neon glow. Kittin’s persona has mellowed too. Her trademark deadpan dominatrix vocals have been endlessly imitated, and there are times here when she still appears about as excited as a supermarket attendant announcing two-for-one deals on toilet roll. But when she drops the studied cool for a cover of Elvis’s Suspicious Minds, her voice swoops like the proper pop star she always could be, rather than the plastic androids she’s taken the piss out of before. (7)