Recording Under the Influence is a recurring self-titled feature where we ask artists to ignore their musical inspirations for a minute and share what really went into the making of a particular record. Ellen Allien keeps things simple in her guide to Dust, giving us a few clues as to how some of the album’s more polarizing moments–like the beat-flecked balladry of “Sun the Rain”–came about.

The BPitch Control boss also shares her love of long nights/mornings in Berlin, a place that’s helped her find love and Dust‘s first single. Speaking of Allien’s longtime home, you can check out her city guide from our first issue here.

During the past year, I had to move from one apartment to the other four times. First from my own apartment that had structural problems, then I had to leave two other two rental apartments. “Sun the Rain” emerged from this experience–in case of fire, one has to be patient and wait ’til the fire gets blown out and then, all of a sudden, everything is right again…

Photo: Michael Mann

One day/night I stood at Bar25, a great after-hours club in Berlin right in front of Berlin’s Spree river. I already had been there for a good while–a way too long while–and I kept asking myself over and over again, “Should we go home?”…But I stayed another 10 hours instead.

The longing for summer during the long and cold winter in Berlin. That is how “My Tree” came about–the dream of lying under a tree, counting the leaves as the sun comes and makes my eyes twinkle.

When I am on tour, I collect lots of impressions, memories, noises, faces, landscapes…They give me energy and strong emotions that give me the urge to write, often in the form of a song.

“Flashy Flashy” is about how I met my boyfriend at Panorama Bar in Berlin. I was completely drunk between flashing disco lights and echoes…Hehehe…