Published May 15, 2019After a trio of albums that found Ellen Allien exploring the perimeters of instrumental techno, the Berlin musician returned to her roots for 2017's steely Nost.
Her followup, the cleverly titled Alientronic, finds Allien returning to that well, pumping out eight ready-out-of-the-package Berlin club anthems. Stripping down her sound for tracks like the throbbing "Empathy" and the hypnotic "Free Society," Allien relies on repetition and simplicity to move her eighth LP forward.
Although the LP features some fine moments — "Bowie in Harmony" works off of a fluttering vocal snippet, while the weaving "Electronic Joy" shows Allien showing off her adventurous side — so much of it unfortunately follows the same unrelenting blueprint, as the album's standout track, the woozy "Exit to Humanity," reuses the pitched-down vocal sample found on nearly half the album.
On Alientronic, Allien strives for a level of nostalgia but rather seems to slide into a bout of creative amnesia. (BPitch Control)