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Ellen Allien: ‘Living together we are strong’

Berlin’s eminent techno-terrestrial Ellen Allien brings us the final edition of the mammoth ‘We Are Not Alone’ compilation series, featuring three installments comprised 11 tracks each. Each of the installments features fresh new beats from artists who’ve either played at the infamous event series or appearing at ‘We Are Not Alone’ parties in the future. It’s the closing chapter, so let’s buckle up for a freaky finale.

Today, we caught up with Ellen Allien to talk about the final installment of ‘We Are Not Alone’, her inspirations, and views on the current state of the music industry.

Electronic Groove: Hi Ellen, we are thrilled to have you here with us!

Ellen Allien: Hey, nice to meet you guys!

Electronic Groove: You just curated this tremendous project by 33-track compilation. ‘We are Not Alone’  is revealed to us like a metalanguage; techno talking about other diversifications of the genre, and at the same time offering a framework that establishes a grammar with its combinations, mechanisms, and that invites us to make predictions about how techno will evolve. What motivated you to carry out this project?

Ellen Allien: ‘We Are Not Alone’ is a party series based in the former Griessmuehle, now Revier Südost, a club in Berlin. They opened last summer this new location with all safety measures and only open-air from 12 PM till 10 PM. When Corona hit last year in March and every DJ live/career became non-existent suddenly, I decided to create a compilation to able to continue to work with other artists. This means that our music is not at a standstill in our labels BPitch and UFO inc. As labels, we have stable releases and sales. ‘AurAA’, my album came out in 2020.

The compilation is now being pressed and released as a record. For every track, we are working on videos with Stini Röhr, a video artist and photographer. All tracks I always tested, played, and celebrated each in all my streamings. The only way possible, as clubs and festivals only exist in very few places. Booking requests are slowly coming in again. Step by step we are coming back. I have decided to play when the first requests are coming…

Electronic Groove: When the wall was demolished back at the end of the ’80s, techno in itself became a manifestation of the collective feeling of freedom…How do you see the genre, now? Do you relate it to a specific feeling in reaction to something?

Ellen Allien: Back then the scene was smaller, not so global, there was a kind of ‘free zone’. A playground where creativity and experimenting took place but there was also the more commercial part, like today. Today we are global and collective exchange is very strong and important today. Living together we are strong.

Electronic Groove: When you create a track how long do you usually work with the idea? Could you share something about your creative process?

Ellen Allien: In the beginning, I create the melodies, basslines, and vocal parts. Then the beat. Sometimes the track can be ready in 3 hours sometimes in 20 hours it’s up to the situation. It’s learning by doing on top…

“Creation is my motor to breathe, to smile and that’s
where I feel most comfortable”

Electronic Groove: Considering the moment we are living through what solutions can you think of, as a producer, founder of your own labels, and DJ, to reactivate concerts and festivals?

Ellen Allien: My labels BPitch and UFO inc. are very stable. DJ gigs are coming back slowly now. Let’s hope we are back very soon. I think there will be no festivals in 2021 but for sure open airs with lower capacity like the last Summer.

Electronic Groove: What perception do you have about your audience that follows you live virtually?

Ellen Allien: The music I am playing is the most important action here in my streamings. I love to play tunes, unreleased tracks, and edits I did. It’s a platform where we can dance together at the same time all around the world…which keeps our vibe alive.

Electronic Groove: When creating which are your favorite machines?

Ellen Allien: Synths, synths, and synths—Moog, Arp, Roland, and Jupiter.

Electronic Groove: The whole EG team would like to thank you for this interview, and tell you that we are fans of you! We really admire your work!

Ellen Allien: Thank you! All the best to you too! 

Ellen Allien’s ‘We Are Not Alone’ is out now via BPitch. Stream and buy here

Follow Ellen Allien: Facebook | Instagram | Soundcloud | Spotify 

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