Ellen Allien ‘LISm’ (BPitch Control)
Released February 2013
CD / Digital
The latest from the BPitch boss lady is pretty much what you might expect to happen when someone such as Ellen Allien decides to make a continual, 45-minute long piece of music. Like an electronic mini-opera, if the age of albums is over as some claim, then here’s hoping more endeavours like this begin to surface.
Before we begin, assumptions there will be an absence of honest to goodness dancefloor material should be cast aside immediately. Beats are present, albeit you need to wait for them. And with that in mind timeless mixes and stand out, experimental albums from times gone by are immediately invoked when considering what’s actually on offer here- a slowly building piece that constantly keeps your attention.
So this isn’t one of those ‘journeys’ that merely meanders around distinctly similar micro-canons. Instead, there’s a sense of grandeur, or at least scale and scope far greater than most would attempt, straddling science fiction and naturalistic timbres- from desolate bleeps to clarinet stabs, and looped brushed jazz cymbals. Next thing you know filtered brass notes reference what can only be described as a space-age film noir soundtrack, and really this is just for starters. Almost on the halfway point we begin to find stripped kick drums and loose percussive accents, which are surprisingly clubby, considering what has come before. Nevertheless the transition is impressively fluid, and between here and the album’s ultimate vanishing point we also explore broken, twinkling electro; a real highlight if one could be picked from what is ultimately an accomplished effort that transcends dance and electronic home listening.