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All Music Guide:
Heavily influenced by the electro and new wave music of the '80s, French producer the Hacker (Michel Amato) jumped to the forefront of the electro-clash and neo-electro scene when he teamed with Miss Kittin for the 2001 hit "Frank Sinatra." He began his career in the mid-'90s with the Futurist (Benoit Bollini) in the hardcore techno project XMF. As Amato's interest evolved from Duran Duran to Cabaret Voltaire and on to Jeff Mills and LFO he began making more traditional techno in the classic Detroit style. Beginning in 1995, the Hacker became his moniker for these more minimal releases and when he formed his own label in 1998, he named it GoodLife in honor of the big club hit by Detroit legends Inner City. That year he also began working with the like-minded Miss Kittin when the duo released their debut EP Champagne on DJ Hell's label, International Deejay Gigolos. By the time GoodLife released the Hacker's full-length debut, Melodies en Sous-Sol, in 2000 Amato's interest in Detroit had shifted to the city's electro-techno projects like Drexciya and Dopplereffekt. The audience for this new electro was growing across Europe so when the Hacker and Miss Kittin released "Frank Sinatra" in 2001 it was an instant dancefloor hit. Their debut full-length, appropriately titled The First Album, arrived that same year and was followed by a worldwide tour in 2002 after which the Hacker returned to solo work. Remixes, 12"s, and live DJ sets kept him busy until 2004, when his second album Reves Mechaniques arrived on GoodLife/Different. He placed classic electro acts like Front 242 and Model 500 next to new artists like Ellen Allien and the Revolving Eyes on his 2006 mix CD The Hacker A.N.D. N.O.W....
Michel Amato, better known by his stage name The Hacker, is a French electroclash and techno producer who has worked extensively with Miss Kittin. His work has been influenced by electro artists like Kraftwerk, New Wave artists such as The Cure and Depeche Mode, as well as the French rave scene of the early 1990s. His artist name comes from the Jeff Mills' track of the same name.
The Hacker started making music in 1989 at the age of 17 in Grenoble (France). At the time, Duran Duran was an early influence, but he later discovered the dark side of electro through electronic body music groups like Cabaret Voltaire and D.A.F.. In 1993, The Hacker took on the hardcore side of electro and released a few 12”s with Benoit Bollini (aka The Money Penny Project) under the moniker XMF on the label of the same name.
In 1995, he made his own music in classic Detroit style with Jeff Mills in mind. His first tracks were released on the Ozone and Interface labels. Three years later, The Hacker founded his own label, Goodlife Records (named from a classic track from Inner City) with his friends Oxia and Alex Reynaud. However, he still releases tracks on other labels such as "A Strange Day" on UMF and "Method Of Force" on Sativae. The tones of his debut album Mélodies En Sous-Sol (spring 2000) surmise his musical dreams where one can hear distant echoes of New Order, Dopplereffekt, and PCP.
In the mid 1990s, The Hacker began producing electro-pop with his friend, Caroline Hervé (aka Miss Kittin). DJ Hell loved their first track "Gratin Dauphinois" on Technics and signed them to his new label, Gigolo in 1997. In Germany, their success was immediate owing to the releases of Champagne and Intimités. With the dawn of the electroclash music movement in 2001 and the release of their First Album and its single "Frank Sinatra", they became popular worldwide. The Hacker is also sought-after as a producer, and has done remixes for Marc Almond, Fischerspooner, Air, and Nitzer Ebb.
In 2002, after their U.S. tour, The Hacker and Miss Kittin decided to take a break from their collaborative projects. The Hacker took this opportunity to produce many new tracks released on vinyl, such as "The Beach" on Mental Groove and "Dance Industria" on Tiga's label Turbo. He collaborated with Kiko, Alexander Robotnick, millimetric and David Carretta, touring all over the globe as a DJ and started work on his next album.
The Hacker released his second album, Rêves Mécaniques in 2004. It became his first album to chart on the French Albums Chart, peaking at #130 and spending a total of four weeks on the chart.
In 2007, he rejoined with Miss Kittin to release the double A-side "Hometown"/"Dimanche". To celebrate his tenth anniversary as a recording artist, The Hacker released the CD/DVD set in 2008. The compilation contains live recordings, singles and some new studio tracks.
Miss Kittin & The Hacker reunited as a duo in 2008, after a short tour of European clubs at the end of 2007, and the Hometown EP was released in June that year. Further touring followed throughout America and around the world in 2008, before they both started recording new songs, some of which were performed whilst touring. In March 2009, they released their second album Two, 8 years after their first and only full LP as a duo. The first single "1000 Dreams" was also released in March, alongside a new club single "PPPO - People Pleasure Power Objects", both taken from the new album. The reformed duo embarked on a new European tour all summer in 2008, kicking off in France in early April.
Amato has mentioned his respect for Terence Fixmer, David Carretta, DJ Hell, Adult., Ersatz Audio, Dopplereffekt, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, New Order, Cybotron, Bobby Orlando and Giorgio Moroder.