Sometimes you just want a hot chick behind the decks. Spare us the sight of yet another skinny white boy with dreads, or a chubby, ball-capped gay behind the Technics. Give us instead Berlin DJ/producer Ellen Allien, who fulfills that not-quite-unreasonable demand of female pulchritude, and then backs it up with the kind of skills and taste that earn respect from both club kids and jaded old journalists. The fact that she also owns the mighty fine BPitch Control label might just bring her several unwanted marriage proposals from doofuses with more records than charm.
But the real reason to rejoice is that Ellen Allien is finally about to play her vaunted wax on U.S. shores after two false alarms (something about dull formalities involving failure to fill out working papers). On 2002's weiss.mix, Allien flaunts her versatility and impeccable taste, finding common ground among minimal techno, ghetto tech, electro, spazzy IDM, and Squarepusher's 2step pastiche "My Red Hot Car." Any DJ who can work tracks by Akufen, Otto Von Schirach, Electric Company, and Superpitcher into a set without train wrecking it deserves much respect.
According to Allien, this amalgam of uncompromising styles is the music she plays in clubs. Ballsy. "I like to connect the two," says Allien in response to a question about whether she prefers accessibility or experimentation. "It's difficult, however, to find the experimental records that are danceable, yet don't sound cold. I try to merge the two."
As a DJ, Allien favors "electro, deep and melancholic, [releases on] FatCat, Warp (the most beautiful electronic music), Tresor, BPitch Control--those are the main ones."
Whereas weiss.mix is for adventurous heads, Allien's new mix disc, My Parade (BPitch Control), aims for big-room, peak-time thrills. The overall tone of the album's 13 tracks is more extroverted, E'd up, and rhythmically streamlined than her previous mixes. The techno and broken-beat selections incorporate functionality, fun, and friction in equal measures. Let's hope Allien has a bodyguard, because the lust she's likely to inspire at this gig is going to be off the hook.