Ellen Allien Picks 10 Iconic ’90s-inspired Berlin Techno Tracks

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Jun 25, 2021
Chandler Shortlidge
Berlin techno legend Ellen Allien picks out some of her favorite ’90s-inspired tracks from her city to celebrate the release of the new V/A compilation, No Photos on the Dance Floor! Berlin Techno 1992–Today.
Germany’s Ellen Allien is no stranger to the global stage. A techno pioneer in her own right, she’s played nearly every dance floor worth its salt the world over in her immense career. But Ellen is also a Berliner. She’s been an integral part of the techno capital’s dance floors from the early ’90s, and knows her local scene better than almost any DJ around. As such, Ellen has compiled a Berlin classic techno playlist, coinciding with the release of the No Photos on the Dance Floor! Berlin Techno 1992–Today compilation. Compiled by Beatport’s own Heiko Hoffmann, the compilation follows a photography and video art exhibition by the same name that was co-curated by Hoffmann and shown at the C/O Berlin museum in late 2019. The exhibition included works by photographers and visual artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans, Romuald Karmakar, Sven Marquardt and Camille Blake, that dealt with Berlin’s club culture since the fall of the wall. The compilation is the first ever to trace the history of techno made in Berlin over the last three decades, with a selection of classics and hidden gems that have helped shape Berlin’s sound from the early ‘90s until now. Find out more about the compilation here, and check out Ellen’s playlist below.
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Ellen Allien – Körpermaschine [UFO, 2019]
This was the first release of my new label, UFO Inc. “Körpermaschine” is about moving the bodies to my beat. Showing the rough and raw sounds of the label.
Alien Rain – Empire Of Illusion [UFO, 2021]
Alien Rain — one of the best acid producers of Berlin — delivers with his imposing EP. Focusing on uncompromising, underground sounds, powerful rhythms and transcendent energy. The title track, “Empire of Illusion,” became a Berlin techno hymn!
Introversion – Force Majeure [Bpitch, 2020]
Within a very short time Introversion became one of the most interesting Berlin techno producers. With his track “Force Majeure” on the WeAreNotAlone Compilation PT.1, he convinced through industrial mechanisms with cosmic interference. Within a very short time, Introversion became one of the most intriguing DJs and producers from Berlin. He did a remix for my track “Love Distortion,” and I play many of his productions in my sets. He is able to convey Berlin techno emotions. With “Force Majeure,” on the WeAreNotAlone Compilation part one, he convinces through industrial mechanisms with cosmic interference
Moderat – Nr. 22 [Bpitch, 2009]
Moderat’s eponymous debut album was released 2009 on BPitch. The trio (Aparat and Modeselektor) are one of the strongest live electronic performers supported for their concerts with a set of visuals created by Pfadfinderei. Moderat are well-known to cross indie breaks and techno. Absolute Berlin electro-techno pioneers!
Amotik – Daya [Bpitch, 2020]
The Berlin-based producer is known for his soulful melodies going under the skin and big bass drum kicking you far away. His powerful track, undulating low frequencies and nuanced composition is designed to target mind, body and spirit… He found his own style/way to express techno.
Inhalt Der Nacht – In Lust Verirrt [Bpitch, 2020]
Young Berlin techno producer and resident at Revier Südost in Berlin Schöneweide, where we regularly organize our We Are Not Alone parties. “In Lust Verirrt” is all aboard the hypnotic whirligig.
Ellen Allien – Go (Marcel Dettmann Remix) [Bpitch, 2014]
“Go” is an allusion to my first ever release “Just Let the Groove Go”. Marcel Dettmann, a fan of the track and playing it in his sets, did this remix. It feels like standing at Berghain, a dark slow bomb, still fresh today. A Berlin Techno anthem, this track is also appearing on the No Photos On The Dancefloor! compilation.
Andrew Moore – That Makes Me So Horny [Bpitch, 2020]
Before Scottish-born Andrew moved to Berlin in 2018, he played and was resident in some of the best gay parties of London. His track refers to the very kinky Berlin nightlife with simmering sexual transmutation. Berlin became the melting pot of people and cultures around the world. I am really happy to see that the creativity and diversity never stopped here. Free to be free, without conventions and restrictions.
Trike – Cube [Bpitch, 2011]
A Berlin Techno classic!
Ellen Allien – La Música Es Dios [UFO, 2019]
More on the darker side of techno with the third release on my label UFO Inc. focusing on a raw aesthetic. “La Música Es Dios ” comes with a juddering bassline, subtle beats and a distorted vocal clip. Wistful pads and a sombre riff keeping it melancholy.