Mix #174 By Ellen Allien (Freak House Mix)
Today we have the honour to introduce a very special guest in our mixtape series. She founded and has been at the head of pivotal techno imprint BPitch Control and already was a resident in one of her city’s most acclaimed clubs, Tresor, in 1992 (age 22). And although Ellen Allien’s heart still lies in the techno scene, she has been leaning more and more frequently towards other musical styles in her sets, showing off an impeccable taste and knowledge of dance music’s history. So, for the occasion, the Berlin/Ibiza resident has laid down an extraordinary ‘Freak House Mix’ for us to enjoy.
Ellen Allien begins DJing in the rampant underground of post-DDR Berlin. In Fischlabor, where the core of the Berlin electro scene met, she switched in the early 90s from the bar to the DJ booth. Over the years she plays regularly at all the cityʼs seminal clubs: at E-Werk, Casino and Tresor, later at Maria am Ostbahnhof, Watergate, WMF and Ostgut/Berghain.
Ellenʼs own radio show on the Berlin station Kiss FM gives rise to her first label, Braincandy, which she manages from 1994 to 1998 – in retrospect a test-run for greater deeds yet to come. A series of parties in various Berlin clubs leads to the creation of BPitch Control in 1999. The label opens up a new stomping ground – not only for Ellen herself, but also for her musical companions: DJs like Kiki, Sascha Funke and the duo Toktok release their early productions on this imprint; acts like Paul Kalkbrenner and Modeselektor steadily make their way to world fame at BPitch. Just as Berlin evolves into a global techno metropolis, BPitch casts its net wider and grows on the international stage. The next generation of label artists includes the Aérea Negrot, Dillon, Joy Wellboy, DJ Red, Silvie Loto, Chaim, Thomas Muller and Dance Disorder from Spain.
Ellenʼs own albums are also released on BPitch. They give an impression of the diary entries of a free spirit in the musical underground: personal experiences translated into sound, with no stylistic constraints. Stadtkind in 2001 was followed by Berlinette (2003) and Thrills (2005). Whilst all these albums are produced in collaboration with Holger Zilske, each stands on its own as a chapter with its own unique sound. In 2006 Ellen records Orchestra Of Bubbles with Apparat. She becomes a live musician for the first time and a comprehensive tour takes the pair on a journey around the globe. With her following albums – Sool in 2008, produced in collaboration with AGF, Dust in 2010 with Tobias Freund and the soundtrack LISm with Bruno Pronsato in 2013, the EP and Vinyl only edits “Free Nation” (2014) with Thomas Muller or like the recent Ep and Vinyl “Freak” (2014), followed by a remix EP with edits by Radio Slave, Detroit legend AUX88, EJECA and LA Williams (2015) or the 12″ like “GO” (2007), “Pump” (2010) and ” The Kiss” (2011). – Ellen explores new aspects of her creative process, continually drawing new connections between techno and pop, house and indie via electronica.
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