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Bpitch Control

Ellen Allien's electronic label celebrates their 10th birthday, refusing to be defined as Berlin techno, they continue to push the boundaries

Bpitch Control, the second attempt at an electronic label by Ellen Allien was formed when her successful radio show 'Braincandy' developed into her not-so-successful first label of the same name, and was closed down in Berlin, home of techno. However, over the last 10 years, the DJ and producer has built Bpitch to influence the Berlin music scene by taking electronic music in different, possibly scary directions. Using futuristic sounds and a darker, more despondent edge than most labels, Allien, a self-confessed lover of melancholic atmospheres was able to add an emotive factor to mechanical tech-house in often mindless dance music.

Despite often being experimental, Bpitch has also had more accessible music emerging from their catalogue, such as blog aggregator Hypemachine-topping Telefon Tel Aviv making soaring synthy songs with bandy vocals, and of course Modeselektor. The latter’s eclectic Happy Birthday! album featured guest vocals from Maximo Park, TTC, and Thom Yorke who was already a fan. Modeselektor’s audio/visual projects have included producing sound installations at the Centre Pompidou in Paris whilst their borderline trip-hop sound fits nicely with artists such as London-based Sasha Perrera of Berlin trio Jahcoozi, who was also featured on their 'Silikon' track. Combining their sound with the moody, darker Apparat’s Sascha Ring who owns Shitkatapult, another cult German label, enter Moderat. A smooth electronica production team with debut album released this year including the sweepingly ambient singles 'A New Error' and 'Rusty Nails' as remixed by Get Physical’s Booka Shade.

Bpitch Control refuses to be limited in being defined as a ‘techno label’, and instead choose to explore wider genres in electronic music through IDM and glitchy electronica whilst incorporating more electro-techno producers like Boys Noize Records’ possibly demented Housemeister and electro disco funk Siriusmo. Even Ed Banger favourite, Feadz, seemingly from the opposite spectrum of dance music, had early releases on the label whilst you can hear shifty percussive rhythms from Mark Broom and Sascha Funke.

Their experimental quality allows them to keep an underground status despite having worldwide recognition. Echoing urban and architectural influences, their music has been described as an attempt to create a reflection of Berlin. Whilst many producers from her hometown are also represented including; Paul Kalkbrenner making beautiful melodic tech house and Andre Crom who playfully uses a range of inventive noises in his tracks as remixed by Riva Starr, Bpitch are venturing beyond Germany. With nights at Wet Yourself at Fabric, London and recently signing French Thomas Muller who produces driving techno with simple percussive formulas and Israeli tech producer Chaim, they are proving to hold their own outside their home turf.

Allien has always had an affinity for creative processes having been surrounded by artists since 16. She now has close links to Trentemoller, one of the most respected electronic artists purely on production talent, remixing everyone from Royksopp to Franz Ferdinand, and also German Miss Kittin, part of the original electroclash scene with Hacker and Felix Da Housecat. To further prove she is master of all trades, she has been dabbling in her own clothing line available exclusively at Apartment in Berlin, with the Autumn/Winter ‘09 collection featuring high waisted cut-out jeans and abstract print tees.