Review: Ellen Fraatz must be one of the hardest-working women in dance music. She's been making music for 20 years, now, and there's little sign of the quality dropping. There's predictably much to admire on this brand new three-tracker, from the melancholic chords, impassioned vocal wails and electro-influenced grooves of opener "Butterfly", to the wonky, late night tech-house assault of "Come To Me", whose distorted synths and sludgy bottom-end are complimented by distinctly foreboding chords. Best of all, though, is "Freak The Night", a jaunty fusion of deep house, acid and tech-house complete with warm, woozy chords, shuffling rhythms and punchy electronics.
Review: The calibre of contributors to this remix album is a sign of the high regard that Bpitch boss Ellen Allien is held in. Aux 88 depart from their trademark electro sound for a tight, stabby techno take on "Ever", while Bodycode brings his eerie organ sound to the spacey "Dream", straddling this seemingly disparate mixture with snappy percussion. Meanwhile, Kassem Mosse delivers a beautiful, chiming bell and breathy vocal-laden take on "Our Utopie". There are also some fine left of centre versions, like Tim Hecker's organic ambient version of "Sun the Rain", John Roberts's gradually unravelling, tripped out melodic interpretation of "Should We Go Home", and the piece de resistance, the Ripperton take on "My Tree", which progresses from dense drums and foreboding trance riffs into soaring electro bass and epic indie guitars.
Review: This latest album by Bpitch Control boss Allien is a long way from the label's minimal, sometimes trancey roots. It sounds like the author has grown up musically, and LISm flows through a series of mood pieces. Although this special edition divides the whole 45 minute piece into discrete chunks, this writer listened to the work as one continuous track, and this is how it works best. Beginning with what could be the sound of demented monkeys wittering away, it moves into jangly guitars and blissed out vocals, before a series of isolationist bleeps kick in. From there it moves from late night jazzy sax, dense drones before kicking back into deep, ethereal electronics. It's a major artistic triumph for Allien.
Review: Like her last album, The Kiss sees Ellen Allien explore an alternate route than the skewed, rough and ready minimalism she made her name with. Indeed, "The Kiss (Extended Version)" deploys an old school Chicago bassline with mysterious synths and a jacking rhythm. "Need" is less memorable, but Allien has the good sense to draft in Redshape for remix duties. The masked producer drops sweeping synths and a powerful, pulsing bass to lend the track some extra menace. Bpitch has also commissioned German duo Snuff Crew to rework "The Kiss" and they don't disappoint, using playful cowbells, mournful strings and a powerful, pulsing bass to create an unforgettable retro-style remix.
Review: This latest album by Bpitch boss Allien is a long way from the label's minimal, sometimes trancey roots. It sounds like the author has grown up musically, and LISm flows through a series of mood pieces. This writer listened to the work as one continuous track, and this is how it works best. Beginning with what could be the sound of demented monkeys wittering away, it moves into jangly guitars and blissed out vocals, before a series of isolationist bleeps kick in. From there it moves from late night jazzy sax, dense drones before kicking back into deep, ethereal electronics. It's a major artistic triumph for Allien.
Review: Berlin has by turns been a minimal, dubstep and purist haven over the past decade, but the latest release from Ellen Alien hints at something dingier. Taking inspiration from the low-slung rhythms and tape hiss of L.I.E.S, the Bpitch boss contsructs a grungy, acid-caked groove on her own edit of "Free Nation". It's a similar tale on "Delta Zoo", where violent bass licks lurch under grainy riffs and crackling percussion. If Alien's edits represent Berlin's seedy side, then Thomas Muller's versions of both tracks imagines a modernist veision of the German capital. Booming drums and dramatic claps fuel this approach, but the murmuring vocals suggest something untoward still simmers beneath the surface.
Review: Nost is Ellen Allien's seventh studio album, and it's the first one since 2010's Dust to focus on the dance floor. As each track demonstrates, this is the place where the Berlin DJ really belongs. The album begins with the rolling groove, pitch-bent male vocal and eerie synths of "Mind Journey" and the queasy bass of "Innocence", before Allien opts for a more raw option, audible on the stab-heavy "Jack My Ass" and "Call Me", which unfolds to rolling sabres and air-raid sirens. Unlike some of her previous albums, there is no high concept on Nost - as the firing, building techno of "Mma" shows, it is simply a collection of killer club tracks.
Review: "Big Claps" is a typical Ellen Allien workout, featuring a quirky, juddering rhythm, sexy string stabs and neat claps. It has that unmistakable but intangibly playful feeling that the Berliner brings to most of her productions. "Take Me Out" is an entirely different proposition. Bpitch has had a long affiliation with electro - not electro house - from the crunk-fuelled energy of Modeselektor's early releases to the presence of bassy tones in Allien's own dance floor focused grooves. But "Out" marks a departure, with shuffling 808s underpinning the label boss' ice maiden vocals and the dreamy pads that they come encased in.
Review: The third set of remixes of tracks from Ellen Allien's Nost album feature an in impressive cast; first up is Detroit legend Alan Oldham. Known for his releases as DJ T-1000 and his iconic art for labels like Djax, this Motor City legend doesn't disappoint with his take on "Jack My Ass". Insistent, menacing chords swarm in over tough, dubby beats and driving percussion. It's not as intense as his DJ T-1000 work, but still packs a mighty punch. The Amotik take on "Mind Journey" ups the ante further with a slamming rhythm and wild tonal bleeps. In contrast, Eomac?s take on the same track is an eerie, slow motion affair, led by ghostly synths and rumbling drums, while on XDB's version of "Call Me", rolling house drums underpin sensuous vocals and spiralling acid lines.
Review: Following the first set of remixes of tracks Ellen Allien's 2017 album - which featured Detroit luminary K.Hand amongst others - the Bpitch boss again casts her gaze wide and far. US producer Truncate delivers the loopy, big-room techno goods with his steely, percussive take on "Innocence", while Running Back boss Gerd Jansen turns "Call Me" into an early-90s themed hardcore meets house affair, its sirens wailing over raw break beats. FaltyDL is on hand to transform "Erdmond" into a spaced out, low-profile techno groove, replete with a command centre count down, while Raster Not on regular Kyoka goes for an frazzled, stepping take on "Call Me".
Review: Allien released Nost earlier this year, and it was one the Bpitch boss' best albums. Now she has drafted in a heavyweight roster of artists to remix tracks from it. First up is Emmanuel Top, who is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. The French producer's take on "Call Me" sees him drop a slamming, metallic rhythm and turn Allien's vocals into a mysterious alien signal. Rod's take on "Mind Journey" is more functional than esoteric, and revolves around a dense, percussive rhythm, while Detroit veteran K.Hand also gets to grips with "Call Me". She goes straight for the jugular, dropping punchy drums and a pulsating, acid-heavy bass. Skudge are the final remixers on this instalment, and their version of "Mind Journey" is different again, its skipping rhythm full of atmospheric textures.