The veteran Berlin artist gets political on this high-energy techno EP.
Ellen Allien - Take A Stand
Berlin's Ellen Allien has hit many of the cultural touchstones of German techno. She's a former resident of clubs like Fischlabor, Tresor and E-Werk, released dozens of tracks and founded BPitch Control, one of Berlin's best-known labels. But for Take A Stand, she heads to Boddika's NonPlus+ to dig into techno's darker corners. The title track is led by kick a so clear you can almost see it resonate. Its propulsive urgency resembles a war drum, hammering for an unyielding ten minutes as Allien's monotone voice repeats, "Take a stand / Scream and shout." "Flying Objects" moves towards acid, referencing Allien's self-described "extraterrestrial alien dance" style in its title and minimal lyrics.
The commercialisation of techno has been one of Berlin's biggest cultural developments. It's interesting that an artist so central to the style's growth would be so explicitly political as this stage of her career, as if her growling square waves and bass distortion in "Trigger" reflect those changes.