On the heels of Paul van Dyk's performance at Heart last week, the Berliner club invasion continues with Ellen Allien’s Terrace debut at Club Space Saturday, November 4. The DJ, producer, and BPitch Control record label owner is slicing an apple in her Berlin apartment when she talks to New Times on a recent day. Allien has a love-hate relationship with northern Germany’s looming harsh winter. She despises the cold, rain, and snow. However, it cages her, forces her to work, and spikes her creativity.
“If it was nice outside, then I would be there. Without these miserable days, I would not make music,” Allien admits.
Two themes own the conversation: politics and sex. The members of Germany's alt-right party, the Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany, or AFD), are similar to America's Richard Spencer clones, with an emphasis on anti-immigration. Allien does not approve and surmises their outlook is the result of an education deficiency.
“The AFD people don’t have good education, and it is a mistake in Germany. We need to make the school system better. Maybe they learn slower and we need to educate them better. Just because someone does not learn as fast does not mean they should be left behind,” she says. “These people need to go to other places to see other beautiful countries. I think they stay in one area and never leave. They have a lot of fear. Maybe they took the wrong drugs or listen to the wrong music. This can happen when you don’t see the world.”
She released her ninth album, Nost, this past May. On it, “Mma” is an ode to Munich's Club MMA, which she loves, particularly its sexy black-box room. “Stormy Memories” recalls a past romance. “Innocence” is laced with sarcasm. Allien is the first to say her innocence is dead. Perhaps some of it was lost in the sexy black box at MMA.
Like much of her earlier music, the album is trippy, sexual, and pumping. “Erdmond,” the final song, is a peaceful rocket ride around the moon. “Call Me” is a tribute to face databases like Grindr and Tinder where people meet and have sex.
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“Sex is important, and you know there is a lot of sex happening in clubs. I think it’s important to happen," she says. "Even if you don’t have sex, then you can have sexy times while dancing. People losing control is sexy. But a lot of things give me pleasure, even food.”
Sex in the club isn't always a good thing, though. Allien points out that problems arise when prostitutes are involved.
“In some cities, there is a lot of people selling sex, so it’s not good... I understand why some clubs in some places have to be stricter. In Ibiza, I wouldn’t allow it. It has to be natural.”