“As one of the most iconic artists of her generation, Ellen Allien embodies the core ethos of techno: a visionary who looks to the future for inspiration, carving out her own niche and presiding over an empire that has imbued techno, and dance music culture, with her unique DNA.”
作為她那一代最具標誌性的藝術家之一，Ellen Allien 體現了 techno 的核心精神：一位遠見卓識的人，她展望未來，尋找靈感，開拓自己的市場，並掌管著一個充滿了 techno 和舞曲文化的帝國，以她獨特的DNA。”
It’s April when I start talking to Keyi Magazine about doing an Interview with Ellen Allien. The times are weird, Clubs are closed for more than a year and there is no real end in sight, everyone I know is without a job or is doing live-streaming – and it’s getting boring.
The last time I interviewed Ellen Allien was more than 10 years ago for De: Bug magazine, a since-defunct Electronic Music periodical. Magazines and Clubs come and go, it’s a constant fluctuation. The city is so different now, the circumstances changed dramatically, not just because of the pandemic, but because Berlin became a Spielball of international capital Immobilienspekulanten. (#deutschewohnenenteignen ) And derelict spaces, that gave home to clubs and other more dubious ventures cease to exist. Dancing in co-working spaces or at the startup function? I hope not. Not yet. There are still new things happening.
4 月，我開始與 Keyi 雜誌談論對 Ellen Allien 的採訪。時代很奇怪，俱樂部關閉一年多，看不到真正的結束，我認識的每個人都沒有工作或正在做直播——而且越來越無聊。
我最後一次採訪 Ellen 是在 10 多年前為 De:Bug 雜誌採訪的，這是一本已經停刊的電子音樂期刊。雜誌和俱樂部來來去去，這是一個不斷的波動。這座城市現在如此不同，情況發生了巨大變化，不僅僅是因為大流行，還因為柏林成為了國際首都 Immobilienspekulanten 的主角。 (#deutschewohnenenteignen) 廢棄的空間，成為俱樂部和其他更可疑的企業的家園不復存在。在共同工作空間或在啟動功能中跳舞？我希望不是。還沒有。仍然有新的事情發生。
During all this time, and longer Ellen Allien was active and kept growing her credibility – she was a star 10 years ago already – and she still is.
We agree on a Zoom interview because of the circumstances, and when the camera starts I can’t believe how young, fresh and full of energy Ellen looks. The year-long lockdown and quarantine have hit me harder than her it seems. “With corona, I didn’t have so many gigs, but I DJ at home with my friends. I didn’t stop actually DJing or producing music and didn’t stop to create. Because it’s my hobby and my job.”
在這段時間裡，艾倫·艾倫活躍的時間越來越長，她的可信度不斷提高——她 10 年前就已經是明星了——現在仍然是。由於情況我們同意Zoom採訪，當鏡頭開始時，我無法相信Ellen看起來多麼年輕，清新和充滿活力。長達一年的封鎖和隔離對我的打擊比她想像的要大。 “有了電暈，我沒有那麼多演出，但我在家里和朋友們一起做 DJ。我並沒有停止真正的 DJing 或製作音樂，也沒有停止創作。因為這是我的愛好，也是我的工作。”
People started to call Ellen Allien the “stream queen” because she was the first to jump on the streaming train and she was probably one of the few who was really able to use the technology to transport actual emotions – while a lot of other artists dragged themselves in front of the camera and you could literally feel their uneasiness.
人們開始稱 Ellen 為“流媒體女王”，因為她是第一個跳上流媒體列車的人，而且她可能是少數真正能夠使用該技術來傳遞真實情感的人之一——而許多其他藝術家則拖著自己在鏡頭前，你可以從字面上感受到他們的不安。
“This is a very emotional job and hobby. I don’t have to produce music for my career but I need to produce because I need it for my emotional well-being.. I need movement in my work – same on social media with my fans. I communicate emotionally with my fans, and I’m not like an advertisement pretending to be somebody, these are my emotions”
Authenticity and keeping it real, is the secret for her long and everlasting career. “In Germany, we make so much money with music, because people work more in music than people who are working in a post office or Edeka. We work more hours because we have this emotional connection to our work.” Don’t cry – work! The old mantra we use to tell ourselves in the creative industries for years, while forgetting about our lives and becoming a burnout. But I don’t think that’s what Ellen means. “We work anyway, even in the darkest days. I remember in the 90s when there was the big commercial sellout and Techno died.”They interviewed young people on TV who were on Ecstasy, laughing about them, using them as puppets – it took us years to build what we have now, the global international business that Techno is now.” I wonder if there are some parallels to the 90s, not just everything is becoming bigger and way more business, but also how spaces cease to exist. “It’s more open now, you have to find spaces, it’s very social – very awesome what we did. Because now everybody can exist, everybody has space, you can make things on the internet, podcasts and a lot of communities form around these things and they help each other and are keeping it interesting.”
真實並保持真實，這就是她長久而永恆的職業生涯的秘訣嗎？ “在德國，我們靠音樂賺了很多錢，因為人們在音樂方面的工作比在郵局或 Edeka 工作的人多。我們的工作時間更長，因為我們與工作有著這種情感聯繫。”不要哭——工作！多年來，我們在創意產業中用來告訴自己的古老咒語，同時忘記了我們的生活並變得倦怠。但我不認為這就是艾倫的意思。 “即使在最黑暗的日子裡，我們仍然在工作。我記得在 90 年代，當時票房大賣，Techno 死了。他們在電視上採訪了 Ecstasy 上的年輕人，嘲笑他們，把他們當作傀儡——我們花了多年時間才建立起現在擁有的，即 Techno 現在的全球國際業務。”我想知道是否有一些與 90 年代的相似之處，不僅僅是一切都變得越來越大，而且越來越商業化，還有空間是如何不復存在的。 “現在更開放了，你必須找到空間，這是非常社交的——我們所做的非常棒。因為現在每個人都可以存在，每個人都有空間，你可以在互聯網上製作東西，播客和圍繞這些東西形成的許多社區，他們互相幫助，保持有趣。”
Many things have changed in Berlin over the past 10 years, over the past 20 and 30 years.
I wonder where are things going, especially now with the pandemic playing such a big part in all our lives. “Corona changed everything, and it showed us there are too many people on the planet,” Ellen says, and I wonder if that’s a good way to look at things. Being business savvy and creative in the past was almost an oxymoron, you had to be a struggling artist or a business person. There wasn’t much in the middle, whereas now, in the 20s of this century, things seem to shift and it’s suddenly cool to do business. “Money always destroys the magic for me. I like my job because it’s very emotional and I don’t want to lose it for money.”
deBrasko和Tobias Staab的舞蹈编在過去的 10 年、過去的 20 年和 30 年裡，柏林發生了許多變化。我想知道事情進展到哪裡了，尤其是現在大流行在我們的生活中扮演著如此重要的角色。 “電暈改變了一切，它向我們表明這個星球上的人太多了。”艾倫說，我想知道這是否是看待事物的好方法。過去的商業頭腦和創造力幾乎是矛盾的，你必須是一個苦苦掙扎的藝術家或商人。中間沒有太多東西，而現在，在本世紀 20 年代，事情似乎發生了變化，做生意突然變得很酷。 “金錢對我來說總是會破壞魔力。我喜歡我的工作，因為它非常情緒化，我不想為了錢而失去它。”
“Best would be every person works only for six hours each day. People can breathe more and stay healthier. But big corporations want us to keep busy. We don’t get time to think – we are caught in this machine.”
Then the internet connection cuts out. I’m sitting in my temporary room in Berlin, since the pandemic I had to move several times and things are a bit uncertain. I can’t get the Internet to work again. We agree to continue our interview soon. It’s the beginning of May, and summer is finally here, but still, no one knows if there will be clubs again or what nightlife will look like in the future. It’s a pretty shitty time, to be honest. My unemployment money, which I had the privilege to receive, is about to run out – a lot of friends from the nightlife didn’t have this privilege and started to work in vaccination centers or change careers. But slowly things are starting to open up. There are raves in Russia Ellen is playing, and there is a “Test Party” at Revier Südost, everyone needed to be tested and people were running around tracking the movements of the attendees. “Ellen Allien was headlining this party. Just a couple hundred people were at the event, surrounded by volunteers with clipboards and masks.
”It was a surreal scene – but it was positive, and the vibe was positive – the tests, the people had to do afterward all were negative. We meet at this party and talk a bit.
然後互聯網連接中斷。我坐在柏林的臨時房間裡，因為大流行我不得不搬家幾次，事情有點不確定。我無法再次使用 Internet。我們同意很快繼續我們的採訪。五月初，夏天終於來了，但仍然沒有人知道是否還會有俱樂部，或者未來的夜生活會是什麼樣子。老實說，這是一個非常糟糕的時間。我有幸收到的失業金即將用完——很多夜生活的朋友沒有這個特權，開始在疫苗接種中心工作或改變職業。但慢慢地事情開始開放。俄羅斯有狂歡，Ellen在玩，Revier Südost有“測試派對”，每個人都需要接受測試，跑來跑去的人跟踪參與者的動向。艾倫艾倫是這次派對的頭條新聞。只有幾百人參加了活動，周圍是帶著剪貼板和麵具的志願者。這是一個超現實的場景 – 但它是積極的，氛圍是積極的 – 測試，人們事後必須做的都是消極的。我們在這個聚會上見面並聊了幾句。
“I was so happy, I was smiling the whole time, but I couldn’t see the people smiling because of the masks. It took a while to build up the vibe, to let body and mind go, because of all those triggers.
Like being in space that was not controlled, but was still controlled. I have to thank the club for me to play this and thank everyone who was part of this. Because this is not what we usually want in a party, having trackers installed by a University department. So I’m very thankful for the club and everyone who came and was fantastic how I could create my set, and create at least one moment where they forgot about the tracker, the masks and everything.”
I can feel this. It’s now the beginning of July and things are slowly opening again, the first time I was in a crowd of people felt incredibly energetic, I talked to everyone and there were so many connections again, and so much love. While the virus is still roaring and especially in developing countries long from over, we now have a vaccine and most people are taking it.
Many outdoor clubs are now open every weekend and the parties are kind of mind-blowing considering how this year started.
Everyone is wearing a mask still, but that’s a comparably small price to pay. So where is Ellen’s label Bpitch control going these days? She released her album in the midst of the pandemic – as a lot of artists did. And a lot of them didn’t feel good about it.
我能感覺到這一點。現在是七月初，事情又慢慢開始了，我第一次在人群中感到非常有活力，我和大家交談，再次有很多聯繫，很多愛。雖然病毒仍在肆虐，尤其是在很久以前的發展中國家，但我們現在有了疫苗，而且大多數人都在服用它。 Revier Südost 現在每個週末都開放，考慮到今年是如何開始的，派對有點令人興奮。每個人都還戴著口罩，但這是一個相對較小的代價。那麼這些天艾倫的標籤 Bpitch control 去哪裡了？她在大流行期間發行了她的專輯——就像很多藝術家一樣。他們中的很多人對此並不感到滿意。
Not so Ellen, “For me it was really nice to release it and have some action during corona. To stay active with the label and everything. It was a strange feeling to think about waiting until after corona. Because for me, music is not just something that is designed for clubs. I constantly listen at home, biking, exploring, or at dinners. Everywhere. I hear Techno at home.”
I tried that. Listening to music at home, but I always feel it’s too quiet, the bass is missing. And living in thin-walled cheap Berlin apartments doesn’t necessarily help that. But as Ellen seems to live in her Studio that’s of course different. But of course the main reason for us both to be alive is the club. The people. The party.
We speak a bit about touring next because one of the beautiful aspects of being a DJ is the ability to spread love and music worldwide.
She mentions that she is touring in Japan already since the 90s and later started to tour China.
The scene in China is constantly developing and early on it was especially European-orientated Chinese people who came to her parties. The fashion crowds, the rich and the wealthy. She’s a bit critical about that and mentions all the people working in factories and in unhealthy working conditions. When she is on tour she always tries to venture off the designated paths she is supposed to stay in. She likes to look behind the scenes – travels outside of the tourist squares, where the clubs usually are. “You can see the divide very strongly in most countries, but you don’t see it so much in big cities.”
接下來我們要談談巡演，因為作為 DJ 的美妙方面之一就是能夠在全世界傳播愛和音樂。她提到她從90年代就開始在日本巡演，後來開始在中國巡演。中國的場景在不斷發展，很早就來參加她的聚會的尤其是面向歐洲的中國人。時尚人群，富人和富人。她對此持批評態度，並提到了所有在工廠和不健康工作條件下工作的人。當她在巡迴演出時，她總是試圖冒險去她應該留在的指定路徑。她喜歡看幕後——在旅遊廣場之外旅行，那里通常是俱樂部。 “你可以在大多數國家看到非常明顯的鴻溝，但在大城市你看不到這麼多。”
I can sense a political understanding of what Ellen is saying, so I ask straight up what she thinks about politics on the dance floor. And she says “I don’t think politics belong in clubs.” There are topics that are so complex, that they just can’t be discussed at a party. And that clubs should be free playgrounds for people who listen to music. “I don’t want to be a puppet for the government in the club. I already need a couple of drinks before I’m free, and I need a break. And this break for me is the club.”
Ellen Allien “acid against fascism” is released on Gegen on 17th September, her long-awaited remixes of Lebanon Hanover dropped on BPitch on 22nd October and were followed the next month by her EP on her label, UFO Inc.
Interview 作者: Michael Aniser
Translation 翻译: Emi
Photos照片: Keyi Studio WWW.KEYI.EU
Make up 结构: @leana.ardeleanu
Hair 发型师: @attila.kenyeres