While it often seems like every third person in Berlin is a DJ, Ellen Allien is one of the OGs. Getting her start as a resident DJ at local techno temples Tresor and E-Werk in the ’90s, Ellen has seen the German capital unite and transform into the ultimate destination for electronic music and unparalleled clubbing.
She launched her label BPitch Control in 1999, a significant hub for techno, house, and other machine sounds from beyond. Although her eclectic DJ sets have her frequently travelling the globe, she’s still incredibly connected to the local Berlin scene, with appearances at clubs like Else and Ipse, where she hosts her “We Are Not Alone” parties. Her latest music video for “Mind Journey” is no exception – it was directed by Kieran Behan, her creative collaborator of many years. Shot in the city during a full moon, the director wanted to see what it would feel like to have an all-female cast and crew work on the visuals, and as you can see above, the results are magic.
“The video was inspired by alchemy. The joining of the sun and the moon, fire and water – the attraction of opposites. All creative acts come out of the union and fusion of these memories. Different characters appear inside a subconscious mind – a half awake half asleep in-between place of surrealism that we all experience when we dream,” Behan explains.
“Mind Journey” is from Ellen Allien’s seventh solo album Nost, released earlier this year. Check out the psychedelic video above and check out our conversation with Ellen Allien below.
Tell us a bit about what it was like shooting the video for “Mind Journey” with an all female cast. Were there any crazy moments?
It was a very creative process filming with the team and being all together with these amazing girls. Each girl has a strong beautiful character. It was not at all crazy, more warm waves and fun dancing, playing with the light and water. Feeling the body while dancing.
Have you been on any journeys lately? If so, where did you go?
The track is about a body journey — feeling the water on your skin while dancing. I just had a strong body journey playing in Berlin at Else back to back with Cari Lekebush.
What’s coming up for your BPitch Control label?
There will be the first set of remixes released for my album Nost with 2 of the tracks “Mind Journey” and “Call Me” from K-Hand, Emanuel Top, ROD, and Skugde. There will also be a part two.
How has the Berlin electronic music scene evolved since you were a resident at clubs like Tresor and E-Werk in the 90s?
Oh, the scene is very active, we have a lot of different venues now. The summer is amazing with all the open-air spots. The Berlin club scene is huge and all the club owners are working hard to create something special. Clubbing in Berlin is another level, amazing music with a feeling of freedom!
What’s your favorite Berlin club to play now?
At the moment my favorite club is Ipse with its large open-air area and warehouse space which I love. With the people of the club, we are able to create fantastic “We Are Not Alone” parties which is my current event concept. Our crowd there is very colorful. We love it there, there we feel free …
Which DJs or producers inspire you these days?
I am more inspired by nature, the sky, the universe, the sea, travelling, even different smells! Also synthesizers (I still must learn how to use my Moog system 15). Analog instruments, city noises and how people dance.
Ellen Allien’s seventh solo album ‘Nost’ is available now. Stream it below and order a copy right here. Nost RMXS (Part 1) will be released September 1.
For more of our premieres, listen to Aloe Blacc and Declaime’s lush new track “Violet Sky” right here.