Ellen Allien

Berlinette

Owner of popular, eclectic Berlin electronic music label BPitch Control, Ellen Allien also makes some mean tracks herself, and spins wonderfully unconventional DJ sets to boot. Her sophomore follow-up to 2001’s Stadtkind blows aural kisses to Allien’s home base in the form of feel-good electro and broken beat. Sure, she wants you to shake your booty with abandon, but Allien won’t clog your earholes with cheese while inspiring such actions.

While some tracks on Berlinette could find their way onto a comp showcasing the now-moribund electroclash scene, the album exudes more integrity than anything affiliated with that trend. Her beats are tough, but not radical, and her melodies stick inside your head with ease, aided by her own whispery, stoic-German-chick vocals and cleverly manipulated guitar samples. Allien’s also fond of broken beat’s staccato rhythms, and libido stoking cuts like “Push” and “Erdbeermund” make similar efforts by Missy Elliott sound vanilla nice in comparison. On “Trash Scape,” Allien intones the mantra, “The past is a night train to unknown trash scapes.” Berlinette is a trip worth taking repeatedly.

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