8 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Many electronic musicians get their start in clubland and eventually migrate elsewhere, but Ellen Allien has taken the alternate route. Though the DJ’s roots in Berlin’s rave scene go back to the days of Germany’s reunification, her first decade’s worth of albums proposed a kind of shimmering electro-pop flecked with techno; only with 2010’s Dust did she let the full-bore energy of late-night clubbing bubble up into her music, and her records have only gotten more intense. After the throwback rave vibes of 2017’s Nost, Alientronic keeps pushing deeper into the frenzied crowd: Fast, flush with acid, and decked out in shadowy reverb, it’s a tribute to Berlin techno in all its austere, brutalist glory. Despite the name, “Bowie in Harmony” is a grueling TB-303 workout; “Love Distortion” is throbbing analog minimalism, and “Exit to Humanity” delves into bass music’s cavernous nether regions. Throughout, though, Alientronic is graced with the small details that make even Allien’s most relentless floor-fillers feel like floating on air.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Many electronic musicians get their start in clubland and eventually migrate elsewhere, but Ellen Allien has taken the alternate route. Though the DJ’s roots in Berlin’s rave scene go back to the days of Germany’s reunification, her first decade’s worth of albums proposed a kind of shimmering electro-pop flecked with techno; only with 2010’s Dust did she let the full-bore energy of late-night clubbing bubble up into her music, and her records have only gotten more intense. After the throwback rave vibes of 2017’s Nost, Alientronic keeps pushing deeper into the frenzied crowd: Fast, flush with acid, and decked out in shadowy reverb, it’s a tribute to Berlin techno in all its austere, brutalist glory. Despite the name, “Bowie in Harmony” is a grueling TB-303 workout; “Love Distortion” is throbbing analog minimalism, and “Exit to Humanity” delves into bass music’s cavernous nether regions. Throughout, though, Alientronic is graced with the small details that make even Allien’s most relentless floor-fillers feel like floating on air.

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