Miss Kittin, All You Need

[Mobilee]


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Miss Kittin’s debut on Mobilee feels like a long-anticipated hangover after the bombastic bender she’s been on for much of her career. While it’s rather refreshingly pared down to the bare essentials, “All You Need” is not completely removed from her past. With its somewhat vulgar throb, it’s a little like her earliest electro-clash work, and the gruff textures aren’t exactly all smooth marble and granite. But it’s laid down tight with a snug tech-house sensibility: this Kittin has finally been housebroken. Even the vocal refrain is limited to a repeated couplet, and there’s nothing close to obscene about it — but for once, politeness isn’t a step backward. By keeping her vocal to an amiable croon, it becomes a dulcet siren that rides the track’s subtle ebb, accentuating its melodic touches rather than hogging the center stage.

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“All You Need” courses in acidic spurts, thrusting in stasis; held in line by some weighty force, Kittin’s noisier tendencies are released through distorted chords like pipes bursting in rhythmic tandem. When she mentions “love,” a lazy, decayed chime picks up on the wind, charting out a Pantha Du Prince-esque melody as the breeze picks up and twirls it around. It’s accessible, melodic, and gentle, all underpinned by that subtly erotic acid bass line. Club-ready tech-house doesn’t get much sweeter than this. The single comes backed with a Lee Van Dowski remix that unfortunately decides “All You Need” isn’t quite club-ready enough and completely removes the track’s sensual vigor. Nailing it down at the edges into a pathetically straightforward progression, it unwisely places emphasis on the monotonous chords and pretends the charming chime section never existed. Gesaffelstein’s remix enters more risky territory, gutting the song completely, turning Kittin’s monotone into an angelic incantation over glowing 8-bit embers, pitch-bent notes and rattling bass. I’ll admit that when I saw the Miss Kittin and Mobilee mentioned together, my expectations were rather low; but “All You Need” goes a long way in proving that preconceived notions really can’t be trusted, sparking a little bit of that magic Kittin mentions in the lyrics.

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