Ellen Allien: Fabric 34

BPitch Control head Ellen Allien takes a turn at the Fabric controls and contributes as characteristically strong and seductive a mix as one might expect (her previous mixes include the BPitch releases Flieg Mit Ellen Allien, Weiss.Mix, and My Parade). Executing the analogue mix by hand (in fact, made after a party at her Berlin flat), Allien builds technicolour flow from recent favourites and new records.

Schubert's “S1” gets things moving with an entrancing overture of burbling electronics and swinging beats that rapidly gathers steam before ceding the stage to Larry Heard's now-familiar but still-delectable acid-house groover “The Sun Can't Compare” featuring the smooth croon of Mr. White. The acid flows into Estroe's “Driven” which gradually adds an electro-tinged locomotion to the set, before the intensity level escalates with the arrival of Don Williams' gorgeous “Orderly Kaos,” a burning fusion of shuddering Chain Reaction dub-techno and vibrant Detroit swing. The propulsion level remains high through this middle section with cuts by Artificial Latvamaki (“It is Now Either,” which weaves layers of syncopated electro-funk and tech-house sparkle), Cobblestone Jazz (the acid-techno swing of “ India in Me 2”), and Roman Flügel (the infectious techno-dub of “Mutter” smothered in loud washes, funky burble, and jazzy stabs). At this stage, the mix slows, regrettably, for seven interminable minutes of Thom Yorke's “Harrowdown Hill” but, once that's over, the mix recovers with strong cuts by Allien herself (“Just a Woman”)and Plastikman's mix of Heatthrob's “Baby Kate” before concluding with the celestial sweep of Apparat's “Arcadia.” Aside from one misstep, Allien's sleek Fabric 34 is a model mix that oozes dark Berlin character.

July 2007