Podcast / 23 June 2022

VOLTAGE Podcast 31 - Ellen Allien

Ellen Allien Cover


  1. Minimal Violence
  2. Ellen Allien - Edit
  3. Collision
  4. X - Emption
  5. What You Want
  6. Lost Sector
  7. Ellen Allien - Edit
  8. Trg30
  9. Marco Kallas
  10. DJ Europarking
  11. Funeral Future
  12. Ellen Allien - Edit
  13. Punches
  14. DJ Fucks Himself
  15. /
  16. /
  17. Marcel Ruew
  18. Kontain
  19. Ben Techy
  20. DJ Europarking
  21. Ben Techy
  22. Ellen Allien

You’ve heard her records, listened to her mix, loved her label’s releases, and been influenced by her work in the Berlin and international scene since the beginning - we’re happy to introduce Ellen Allien.

Responsible for a huge part of the development of the world’s biggest and most reputed electronic music scene, Ellen Allien has been active wearing various hats in music since the early 90’s as an artist, a DJ, a label owner, and a radio show host pushing other artists as far and large as Apparat or Modeselektor, even releasing the debut Moderat Album on her own BPitch Control, to pushing some of the earliest Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann records all the way to being responsible for close to the entirety of Paul Kalkbrenner’s catalog for almost a decade…

Having been first a resident at the infamous and now-closed E-Werk club in Berlin to then moving to the legendary Trésor Club back when it was still in Kreuzberg, Allien has been at the reins for so long that things would be kind of hard to imagine without her. An intergenerational household name that surpasses the confines of club music and sharing the responsibility for popularizing our music on a global scale, Allien hasn’t slowed down since she started.


Productions, label, and touring aside - you’re a part of a small group of people that has not only watched the Berlin scene rise to its current stature, you helped build it. Residencies at the infamous E-Werk and Tresor clubs in the 90s, radio show host for Kiss FM in Germany, etc must have given you a nice overview on the movement. How has the scene’s most notorious city evolved and has it stayed true to its roots?

The first contact with the music of the future united east and west Berlin in the clubs and bars. It was very, very exciting and changed our way of life. Heteros and homos became one, the separation no longer existed. Just like ossi/ wessi (east and west berliners). The clubs in berlin concentrated on club design - sound/ light design and music without selling out. The loveparade and mayday exploited the zeitgeist and was only about commerce for some years. Then new clubs, labels emerged, and the underground was able to develop freely and still has it in its hands today without commercialising everything. Club life is fertile, nerdy and sexy. Berlin remains radical.

With so many timeless records on your label BPitch Recordings, can you name one or two that stand out to you personally and tell us why they’re so important to you?

We were allowed to work with many talented artists, which was very inspiring and brought us joy - to pick out 2 releases is almost impossible!

The current album by rosa anschütz is unique; her androgynous fragile voice and the strong lyrics are way ahead! Then moderat's first album on bpitch is one of my favourites! The 'we are not alone' compilation released last year reflects the raves we make in berlin - i love this compilation! It's so honest berlin.

Tracklist handwritten by Ellen Allien

Techno has quickly developed in many countries throughout the world in the last couple of years; Portugal, Ukraine, and Colombia to name just a few.. What is your favorite place to play besides your hometown and why?

The most exciting thing is to enchant spaces, dancefloors with my hard bass drum, epic sounds and voices that pull you deep into the earth core - i love planet earth and every country has it’s charm! Playing in europe is always an adventure ~ every country has a special vibe.

2006 saw the release of your acclaimed collaborative album with Apparat ‘Orchestra of Bubbles’. Here, you took a step away from the decks to make more of an emotional record with Sacha, who’s done great work under his own name and in Moderat. Can you tell us how this record came together and if ever you would see yourself stepping in that direction again?

We produced orchestra of bubbles in a studio on the 4th floor in berlin during winter with a lot of snow, snowflakes flew from the sky at the window. We used to be lovers, after our breakup we wrote the album and played it live together. This album is gold! I realized that it's easier to perform my own music than to dj .... As a dj it's always a challenge what's the next track or the next 5 in the set, that should enchant the room.

The following were solo albums. Sool, dust, lism, nost, alientronic and the latest one in 2020 auraa.

Ellen Allien's home setup used to record the VOLTAGE Podcast mix

Always scouting out the next talents be it through your label or for your sets, you must have a few artists that stand out to you recently. Who’s an up-and-coming artist that we should be watching out for?

Rosa anschütz! she is just so so so outstanding!

DJ europark aka dollkraut coming soon on ufo.inc - fresh fresh - dj métaraph is next level.

What should we be expecting from you in the near or distant future? Any projects you can share with us?

I'm working on a project with the band ashcode, a rmx for rosa anschütz and an ep - i love being in the studio. at the moment, with touring, It's not easy to find time...

And i'm looking forward to the second edition of our 'we are not alone' compilation which will be released digitally in three parts in june/july and physical in september 2022 ! 36 techno tracks! Finally we can hold our events at RSO again ... The last 'we are not alone' was a blast 30 hours on 3 floors! I loved it so much - after all this corona time ... everyone just wants to be free again!

These are our next events in berlin:

we are not alone @ rso, july 22nd
we are not alone floor @ rso, august 20th
we are not alone @ rso, october 15+16th

Next up: Nørbak

Editorial Team: Noah Hocker and Michiel Demeulemeester
Interview: Noah Hocker