Gritty electro and techno.
The write up for Alienata's RA podcast took a lot longer than expected. She sent us the mix's tracklist at the end of last week, and it precipitated one of those dazed internet digging wormholes where all other tasks fall by the wayside. It's the type of mix that makes you pine for a gloriously grim club. Or if you're a DJ, to immediately stop what you're doing and start mixing records. It showcases the sound that Alienata, a Spanish DJ, producer and label boss who's based in Berlin, has been building towards for the last two decades. The mix is rooted in gritty strains of techno and electro, but the influence of IDM, EBM, acid and other weirdo genres is obvious.
In the Berlin promoter Killekill, Alienata found an ideal crew in which to develop this style. She's been playing with Killekill, who are described in her biography as "an adoptive family," since she moved from Spain to Germany in 2011, and their dedication to strange, hard-hitting dance floor sounds has seemed like a great fit for her. This relationship helped make her a respected mainstay in clubs in Berlin and around Germany, but her international profile has been steadily increasing each year. With this in mind—and with her focus on her own productions stepping up—don't be surprised if you see Alienata become a headlining force in the coming years.
What have you been up to recently?
I have been touring a lot recently, which is awesome. Preparing solo productions and collaborations with good friends such as Sync 24. I also have been working on the next releases for my label, Discos Atónicos. Plus, spending hours on Discogs. And trying to learn how to make a good ramen. And of course, enjoying the wonderful spring time in Berlin.
How and where was the mix recorded?
The mix was recorded at home (my favourite place on Planet Earth) with a pair of Technics SL-1210 MK2, a Pioneer CDJ-900NXS borrowed from a friend and a Pioneer DJM-500 mixer.
Could you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I tried to keep it very spontaneous and go with the flow. I selected some tunes that I have loved and enjoyed recently. Some of them are new, some are unreleased, plus a few oldies that are weakness of mine. I have tried to combine them together with the aim of telling a story: the story of an imaginary dance floor.
You've been DJing for almost 20 years. What's your journey been like up to this point?
Yeah, that's a long journey. It feels like it was yesterday when I was DJing for the first time in front of a big crowd and in a proper club. I felt that "magical connection." I think it was back in 2005. Since then, I became truly "alienated" and many things happened to me, and still there are many to come, for sure. It took many years of my life to feel confident about what I do or what I want to express and how I want to express it. It has not been an easy journey, but there are plenty of experiences which have made me learn a lot about the language of music and showed me how much I still have to learn. That's exciting.
Tell us about Discos Atónicos.
Last year I decided to start my own label. This is something I have been wanting to do for a while. I only had one thought in mind: I wanted to put interesting music out, records that I may want to listen to or play today or in ten years' time. It can be something esoteric and very psychedelic, like the sound of Artificiero, who I signed for the first release, with an outstanding LP called Masa Negra, or industrial electro like the last killer release I put out with BS-1. On the schedule for this year, I have three more instalments to come: a split with Beta Evers and myself, a fantastic EP with Dez Williams and another Artificiero record with Esplendor Geometrico on the remix duties. 2019 is also looking promising.
What are you up to next?
I have some music coming out with Sync 24 on Killekill and Cultivated Electronics. I also will be releasing the split release with Beta Evers on my label. It will be out very soon. Furthermore, there are some nice dates that I am really looking forward to, especially my first label night, at Säule in May, The Crave festival in Den Hague, the Krake festival in Berlin, and of course, all the gigs with the Killekill crew, who are turning ten years old! In between, I have to manage to learn how to take care of myself.