[Photos by Gabi Aguilar]
Text by Vicki Siolos
Bpitch Control‘s been around for 10 years? Already? Indeed. Just ask label owner Ellen Allien, a world-renowned producer/DJ that also happens to be a dominating force in dance music’s big boys club, from her rock-solid roster to a clothing line that’s as minimal as her techno tunes. Touring the states with labelmate Thomas Muller–a seriously underrated Parisian DJ that now lives in Berlin–Allien celebrated Bpitch’s first decade at Studio B on Friday night. Also on the bill: Gui Boratto, a Brazilian architect-turned-beat conductor who’s still riding high on his last record’s success (2007’s Chromophobia)–right on the eve of his second Kompakt full-length, Take My Breath Away.
Despite constant Twittering from everyone down in Miami for its annual Winter Music Conference, and Henrik Schwarz playing live with Ame at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan, Studio B was rightfully packed by the time Muller finished his DJ set. It was a sure bet that Boratto would play a moving, cathartic live set–the kind epitomized by “Beautiful Life,” a two-year-old track that reaches beyond the built-in audience of most techno producers and lures a lot of pop and indie fans to the dance floor. Every. Single. Time. That said, there’s a mature, dark tint to everything Boratto touches, as first hinted at on his early K2 12-inches (“Sozinho,” “Gate 7“), and such appropriately-titled tracks as “The Rising Evil” and “Tales From The Lab.”[audio:http://www.self-titledmag.com/wp-content/uploads/audio4/11%20Beautiful%20Life.mp3]
Certain gems (“ArquipÃ©lago,” “Mr. Decay”) stood out amongst Boratto’s constant (re)mixing, and there was a peak moment during “Take My Breath Away” where it was as if the entire audience recognized the new album in unison–swaying back and forth with their hands outstretched towards the ceiling. Said scene continued during “No Turning Back,” a triumphant new anthem from Take My Breath Away; “Chains,” the B-side of Chromophobia‘s “Gate 7” single; and a set-closing “Beautiful Life.”[audio:http://www.self-titledmag.com/wp-content/uploads/audio4/01%20Take%20My%20Breath%20Away.mp3]
“Take My Breath Away”
Sometime around 3 a.m., Ellen Allien brought the DJ booth back to life and finished off the night with her own abstract take on minimal techno. Allien’s latest LP, SooL, was a bold move to say the least, and received a lot of positive press in America. While it’s certainly not the most accessible record she’s ever released, Allien brought SooL‘s forward-thinking style (see also: last year’s Boogybytes compilation) out in full bloom on Friday night. Celebrating an important anniversary of her legacy, she was full of energy that radiated through the crowd well past everyone’s bedtime.
Here’s a full set from Sonar last year to give you an idea of where Allien’s head is at these days …[audio:http://www.self-titledmag.com/wp-content/uploads/audio4/Ellen_Allien_-_Live___Sonar_2008.mp3]
Ellen Allien, “Live at Sonar 2008”