A Night With... Ellen Allien
A Night With…has laid the mandate for its 2011 series, bringing the infamous Derrick Carter to the table. This February he took us on a musical marathon and an education to kick-start proceedings for the months ahead. It felt like the party of the year but this is just the beginning. Certainly a tough act to follow, but if anyone can do it, it’s Ellen Allien.
Ellen Allien is a techno producer and DJ from Berlin who owns her own label, is a renowned album artist and also a fashion designer. Inspired and driven by her home city, handed down ex-jukebox records and Kraftwerk’s “The Model” in the early ´90s, she was among the first DJs to champion the new developing techno sound emerging from the clubs of Berlin´s east side, a sound that was faster and more frenetic than its predecessor, acid house.
With the closing down of the first prominent Berlin techno clubs being an initial setback for the scene, Ellen interpreted it as something new going on in the midst of disorientation and initiated her Bpitch control party series, later manifesting into bpitch Control Records where she now reins as label boss. Bpitch has become much more than a techno label, releasing cutting edge electronic music from ambient folk, to retro electro and breakbeat-driven house. Ellen describes the label as her “glamour, community and exchange platform all at the same time”.
Allien released her debut album, Stadtkind in 2001, the title meaning "Child of the City," with the album dedicated to her beloved hometown of Berlin. She has gone on to release further successful albums, with her widely acclaimed ‘Dusk’ project released last year being her fifth solo full-length album. She has signed some of the most influential names in dance music and Berlin’s particularly tenacious DJ zeitgeist – Sasha Funk, Modeselektor, Apparat among them. Most recently, BPitch added trip-hop trio Jahcoozi, expressing an unmistakable desire to expand the label’s reach. The label is the proud owner of the Boogy Bytes compilation series, which has seen Kiki, Sascha Funke, Modeselektor, Seth Troxler and Ellen herself compile their own mix.
Her sound reflects the ragged, rough quality of a city still under construction. She plays with an ambition to connect genres, styles and audiences and has blown the hearts and minds of people in pretty much every venue, nightclub and festival going. To hear and watch her play is a privilege – to have her play in a raw intimate space, completely unsupported for eight hours is indeed something that you won’t get to experience twice.