“I'm very happy I'm going to Sonar Reykjavik in Iceland, I'm really looking forward to going back — and I will do a little trip to see some nature,” Ellen Allien tells DJ Mag. She'll also soon be putting out a vinyl-only release of something she's been working on with some new machines that Roland have put her way. “It's like acid and very abstract and with some vocals, strange dance [music]. It was really easy to work with that. It's crazy.”
And it's that kind of passion for music and the scene that's helped to place Ellen as one of the most respected talents of our times. Her iconic label Bpitch Control continues to excite with forward-thinking and ground-breaking material forthcoming this month — an album from Gary Todd, tracks by DJ Funk, DJ Shufflemaster and Jesse Perez are just a few. “Yeah, we're happy here, it's nice to run this company, we have so many releases and we can survive. I'm proud of the team, it took many years to have that kind of team.”
The track that reminds you of your childhood?
“Of course there's many tracks, I think the strongest impact was of this pop stuff from America like Michael Jackson, but what really changed my mind was music with German lyrics, because I understood them, and they felt different. One of the strongest tracks after Kraftwerk 'The Model' was Grauzone 'Eisbar'. It popped up also in the charts in Germany, so I heard that many times on the radio, and then when I was getting older I wanted to have this record. I understood the lyrics. And of course sometimes I mixed the lyrics because I put them in my child-brain, it was crazy. There was a really important album from Nina Hagen, my sister gave it to my mother and I was the one always listening to it after school. And her lyrics are really street lyrics and I didn't understand what she was singing and I mixed it up, in my child-brain. It really changed me to listen to electronic music later on.”
The first record that you ever bought?
“The first record I ever bought was Kraftwerk 'The Model'. Also from my childhood, because it also popped up in the chart and I remember when I was super-young in a teenager club, Michael Jackson comes on and all the things like that — AC/DC and all this crazy stuff — and then Kraftwerk 'The Model'. And they're singing about the model. And the lyrics in German, and I felt right dancing — something is different now, the sounds give me something I fit to, or is something which fits to the temperament in Germany, and it's a new sound.”
The cheesiest record in your collection?
“The cheesiest is from Mick Jagger's band, 'Miss You'. Again it was from my childhood, singing every day this song while walking to the school or wherever, you know? I had it for many years in my mind and I still have it in my mind. I think it's one of the cheesiest records.”
The track that’s guaranteed to make you cry?
“When I was really sad, I remember I took a car to north of Spain from Barcelona from Sonar and there was on the radio the Thom Yorke album and I had to turn it off because I started crying. Because I was so love-sick and then Thom Yorke was not working well on me. I don't like music that makes me really cry.”
An album that you’re currently into?
“I really love a new album called Ensemble Economique 'Blossoms In Red'. It's really trippy listening, with guitars, very beautiful for me, beautiful keys, very melancholic. It has the key to the sky, it's a bit sad, but it also opens the sky for light, it's not full of sounds, it's not dance, it's listening. I love it. It's beautiful.”
The record in your collection that you most treasure?
“I think it's the Nina Hagen Band LP, because when I was a child all the lyrics I understood in my child-brain — and I still have this record from my mother, and I was the one always listening to it after school. This is something so important for me to have this record, and I understood what music makes to people and how you can put it in your life and to change it up. The lyrics and this album is just dope from a German band. I think it's one of the best albums ever from a German band, in my opinion.”
Your all-time favourite track of all time?
“There are so many, but for DJing — and which I always play and still play — it's from a label which was really important to me back in the day, and the kind of music I still play. It's from Underground Resistance, it's 'The Seawolf', it's a very strong acid track from '92, it's a very favourite track of all time. It's really pumpy. It's one of the most important acid tracks, and it's still so present — and everyone copies it.”
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