Berlin born tastemaker, electronic pioneer and prolific DJ Ellen Allien emerged from the early 90s techno club scene, signing a new sound that today brings fans from far and wide in pure, perspiring adoration.
Ellen Allien now spreads her time between the German capital, extended stays in London and international tours. Berlin is the city with its finger firmest on the pulse in the electronic music world and Ellen’s sound slots in somewhere between techno, electronica, house and pop, singing on her records in both German and English. Her first album Stadtkind was released back in 2001; now many albums, and many many singles later, she is considered one of the main catalysts of the Berlin scene. Ellen has taken her BPitch label on the road this year, and continues to do so with label mates Sascha Funke, Thomas Muller and Kiki amongst others, stopping off for boat parties, festivals and appearances at world famous clubs including Frankfurt’s Live At The Robert Johnson and Berlin’s Watergate. Next week the Red Gallery hosts an epic eight hour set, ‘A Night with Ellen Allien’ from 10pm to a wide-eyed 6am. If you’re not there, you’re nowhere.
i-D Online caught up with Ellen to get low down on her favourite artists for 2011, her top summer tunes, and her opinions about music and that. Check out her BBC mix here.
How did you get into DJ’ing? I started to pick-up music when I was in school and immediately fell in love with it. I have been very passionate about music from a very young age. Music lets me dream. I started mixing tapes at home and they luckily fell into the hands of the biggest club promoter at the time. He started to book me and from there I started my radio show, got my first record released and started residencies at E-Werk and Tresor.
Is it a man’s world? How have you found the industry from a female perspective? No it is definitely not a man’s world and I am certainly not the only woman doing things in the industry theses days either. The market is moving a lot and bpitch is trying to move with it. I guess I just try and stay focused on what I’m doing and not worry too much what other’s are doing.
How do you scout talent to sign to BPitch Control? We don’t scout that much at bpitch, music just sort of finds its way to us, the same with what I play when I DJ. However I have just discovered this very talented girl Dillon, she is lovely!
What’s hot in Berlin right now? Lots actually, but then again there always is in Berlin! Wilde Renate, Panorama Bar on Sunday around midday and Watergate on Wednesday nights is great too. Also the street-life in Berlin in the summer is ecstatic, you never know who you are going to meet and where you’ll end up.
What’s been your most memorable set to date? Melt in 2010. It just felt like home for some reason and before long the dancefloor turned into some sort of hippie rave! Melt is always very emotional for me as I have played almost every year since the beginning, I think I have only missed one year, and now it’s so big! It has been amazing to watch something grow from nothing into the beautiful festival it is now. I hope to see everyone this year?
What do you think of the electronic scene in London? London has always had a great electronic scene, always hot and fresh music. I think that is the greatest thing about London – there’s so much going on in all genres of music all the time.
What are your top 5 tunes for the summer?
Lightbluemeover ft. Blacklightsmoke (Hfn), Grin
Lovers Do (Whitie), Bruno Pronsato
Universe (Circus Company), Aquarius Heaven
Its 2 Late 4 U And Me (Ornaments), Moodyman
Existing Reality (Ctf), Bruno Gauthier
Text: Luke Sutton