It's been a few years since we heard from Caroline Hervé - aka Miss Kittin - and in that time she's obviously been busy. Her return is a sprawling double discer; the first being more vocal and tune laden, the second more instrumental and abstract. Both have their merits. Both could do with a bit of the other.
Double albums certainly get you noticed but you need to make sure that the second hour is of benefit. People overlook the odd duff track or lull if there is an interesting concept to the journey (The Knife's Tomorrow, in a Year), a wealth of standout moments (Magnetic Fields' 69 love songs) or genuine experimentation (The Beatles The Beatles). But here they feel like a method of organisation, merely keeping the output neatly categorised. A couple of tracks from the second disc halfway through the first would have given the listener breathing space to regroup. Instead you get two sequences of similarly paced songs in a row which become hard to tell apart from another.
And that's a shame, because these tracks move away from the humour of her earlier work or sheer noise of her Noughties output, inhabiting a more confident, crafted space. 'Maneki Neko' sounds direct, distinct and timeless, 'Flash Forward' is a master class in that detached, couldn't-give-a-toss tone of delivery Kittin excels at, 'Bassline' employs some quite brilliant piano and vocal effects to cap an already great song and 'Night of the Light' is terrific, building broodily like it's about to unleash hell at the end.
Similarly, disc two has flashes of invention (though never quite as good a payoff), with 'Ballad of the 23rd century', 'Sortie des Artistes' and 'Sunset Mission' in particular impressing.
Somewhere in these two discs there is a very good hour long album laying in wait. In it's current form though, it's merely a decent one in need of editing.
6Sean Thomas's Score