Ellen Allien – Love Distortion Review

I got interested in Ellen Allien‘s music when she and Apparat released their collaboration album, Orchestra of Bubbles, which is nothing short of a masterpiece. Ellen Allien’s music is usually quite experimental and progressive, and to me it sounds like some of the tracks aren’t even meant to be beautiful in the first place. Ellen Allien seems to be on a different kind of mission. It’s more about feelings – even ugly and uncomfortable feelings. She likes to takes us to places we rarely visit. So if you’re hoping to have an easy listening session, full of optimism and fun, Ellen Allien is not a safe pick for that. But if you’re an adventurous music lover, who isn’t afraid of some controversy, you’re likely to enjoy her music.

Love Distortion is a very dark track. There’s a relentless beat and bass running throughout the track. It’s very hypnotic. Chris Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys, often says that dance music is all about repetition. This track definitely is an exercise in repetition, but it does keep on moving and evolving. There are mini breaks and variations to keep the listener engaged. It’s quite minimalistic and simple. All the elements have been carefully selected and they play very well together. At around 5 minutes I was checking the track’s length and hoping that the song wouldn’t end yet. Luckily there were 2 more minutes to enjoy.

I really like how Love Distortion stays in one emotion and kind of gets me in a very introspective and self-reflective mood. It feels like the moment when you realize something bad is about to happen, and you get ready to face that, gathering strength, changing your behaviour. Or a moment when you see the truth clearly, and it’s not a pleasant sight. Love Distortion gets me into the fighting mode, ready to punch the bad guys and oppressors in the face. Actually, I can almost hear this music being played in a fighting scene of Doom (the game) or Borderlands 3. For a track with only one vocal line, creating such vivid visual associations, is an achievement.

Love Distortion is an exceptionally captivating, almost minimal techno track, which I will gladly listen to, even though I’m not a fan of this genre of electronic music.

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