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Techno - To be released September 27, 2019 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released July 19, 2019 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released May 17, 2019 | BPitch Control

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Following Ellen Allien's back-to-basics club album Nost as well as a pair of commanding singles ("Take a Stand," "UFO"), the BPitch Control founder released Alientronic, which continues in much the same direction but ventures a bit further out of orbit. Much shorter than Nost, Alientronic is a set of focused interstellar voyages which convey a sense of mystery while delivering the requisite amount of club energy. "Empathy" begins the album with its most extraterrestrial soundscape; astral arpeggios float throughout the galaxy while a soft, sporadic pulse gradually forms. Once we're settled into this strange but inviting spot in the universe, "MDMA" introduces the propulsive dance beats, which are generally broken rather than steady. Subsequent tracks are more direct and slamming, producing a slightly more paranoid atmosphere. "Bowie in Harmony" is filled with furious thumping kick drums and frantic acid synth patterns, with Allien's shadowy vocals murmuring something about David Bowie off in the distance. As with Nost, Allien's vocals help establish the mood of the tracks, but there's no proper lyrical song structures; she seems to have left her indie-crossover days behind. Following the tense, misleadingly titled "Electronic Joy," "Exit to Humanity" is the album's most arresting moment, with suspenseful synths set to a knocking garage-like beat, and a chilling voice spelling out doom for the human race. Following the early-trance flashback "Free Society," "Stimulation" is a riveting plunge into pure electro, ending Allien's most solid full-length since the mid-2000s on a high note. ~ Paul Simpson
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Techno - Released April 26, 2019 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released April 12, 2019 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released March 21, 2019 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released February 22, 2019 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released January 18, 2019 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released December 7, 2018 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released November 16, 2018 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released September 14, 2018 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released June 29, 2018 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released May 4, 2018 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released May 4, 2018 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released May 4, 2018 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released May 4, 2018 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released February 23, 2018 | BPitch Control

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Electronic/Dance - Released November 24, 2017 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released September 1, 2017 | BPitch Control

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Techno - Released May 12, 2017 | BPitch Control

Berlin techno queen Ellen Allien generally uses the album format as an opportunity for experimentation, with results ranging from guitar- and vocal-heavy indie crossover material to 2013's LISm, a 45-minute piece composed for a French dance production. Of course, she's never stopped pumping out straightforward club 12"s, typically averaging two per year since making her debut in the mid-'90s. 2017 full-length Nost is much closer to being a collection of the type of tracks she normally releases as singles, and is easily her most club-friendly album. All tracks are seven minutes or longer, and they all seem cleanly structured, with steady, hypnotic beats and evenly paced builds and reductions. As a vocoderized Allien states on the opening track, "this is not a mind journey, it's a body journey." Her brand of semi-robotic sensuality (and sly sense of humor) is most evident on "Jack My Ass" and "Call Me," two more tracks which feature her vocals, but only in the form of repeated phrases rather than full lyrics. The album's title is meant to imply a warm sense of nostalgia, but the album incorporates throwback elements in a subtle manner, rather than constructing an obvious or over-the-top pastiche. Standout "mma" begins with a suspenseful sequence bringing to mind Front 242's "Headhunter," but not overtly ripping it off. As the beat builds and progresses, a bright but somewhat blurry rave synth pad surfaces, triggering a bit of an ecstatic rush, but not in a cartoonish way. "Physical" is a tad bit darker, and takes a very long time to build up filtered trance arpeggios and slowly rising dark synth-clouds. The album ends with perhaps the most overtly retro-sounding track, "Erdmond," flashing back squarely to the Artificial Intelligence era of non-rave (or post-club comedown) ambient techno. Lighter beats and more atmospheric synths bubble up to the top, and easily recognizable samples of the first moon landing emphasize the nostalgia factor. Nost might not be quite as surprising or risk-taking as past Allien full-lengths like Berlinette or Thrills, but it's still a well-done set of back-to-basics techno. ~ Paul Simpson