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Ellen Allien im Hive

12. August 2011

Berlin – i grew up feeling surrounded by the wall. I lived on the small island of west berlin. border controls on sunday excursions, the rummaging through bags, the military. It was scary.

But the quote “all quiet on the western front” still didn’t really apply, as lots of things were happening that wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else. The island of West Berlin was a destination for creative minds in search of alternatives. Music was and still is my outlet. Alongside tinkling on the electric organ, teaching myself how to read notes and my jukebox with a collection of singles in my room, my ears were first intrigued by the revolution of Neue Deutsche Welle. It was fantastic! For the first time people were singing in the language you could hear out on the street: Ideal, Grauzone, Nina Hagen – Pop meets Punk. Things happened so fast. Minimal sounds made from machines entered the charts. For me it was Kraftwerk’s “Model” that changed everything. I discovered that pop also worked without any frills. My side of Berlin provided a home for the curious, those who were going against the flow.

However, it was only when the wall came down that Berlin became Berlin again – the city that lets me breathe. After spending a whole year in London i realized that despite the Acid Jazzhouse euphoria there, only one place felt like home – Berlin, the city of possibilities. Being able to breathe, to drive and walk wherever and with whoever i wanted. And no more borders. I was immediately fascinated by East Berlin, by this atmosphere of curiosity and get-up-and-go. there was room for experiments. Electronic music united east and west.

I started to focus on music and art. At first that meant playing the saxophone, learning about fashion, hanging out in rehearsal rooms and taking classes in acrobatics. To finance it all, i worked behind the bar in the Fischlabor, which happened to be the meeting point of the up-and-coming music network. I mixed my first tapes and suddenly became part of the emerging Berlin Techno scene, which started out in empty industrial buildings, houses and cellars. Ellen became Ellen Allien.

Sa 03.09.2011 23:00
Hive Zürich

Ellen Allien im Hive

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