Ellen Allien - "Thrills"

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Just like Berlinette* wasn't boring & straight enough for the techno purists, but way too danceable for the IDM geeks.

OTM. I thought it was too polished ... too much of the Kompakt-esque smoothness (which I like ordinarily) ... I strongly prefer the dirtier, sloppier "Thrills" (particularly stuff like "The Brain Is Lost").

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Friday, 9 December 2005 09:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I loved Berlinette when it came out, but it's true that after Thrills it sounds precious and mannered. Thrills at its best is such a greasy bad-ass record.

Baaderonixx weaves a daisy chain for... SATAN!! (baaderonixx), Friday, 9 December 2005 09:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I've finally gotten over the hump and am totally into Thrills now. Washing Machine is probably the only song that I don't totally love. I don't know what happened, but suddenly I'm listening to this completely effortlessly now. I'm probably finally hearing the techno album that others talked about from the beginning. Before it felt obsessed with seeing the dissection of the parts or something, but now its like all sex and muscle and brain as sex and muscle - doesn't feel so distracting that its exposed or something and i'm just enjoying the better look but can feel the function too. whatever. Its damn good. If this really has fallen through the cracks, its a total shame -this is the most satisfying thing I've heard in a long time. She must have had a good time making this.

Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 19:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Still don't get it!

Ronan (Ronan), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 19:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I don't, or you dont?

Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 19:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I appreciate this a lot more at the end of the year than when I first heard it. A really inspired, unexpected follow up and what can I say... I look forward to more of whatever comes!

It was always going to be a tricky one though, I mean "Berlinette" was just one of those huge, huge records for me personally. Also that has 'dirt' too (that wildy flanging, filthy bassline in Abstract Pictures - OMG) but yes, I can totally understand it coming over more considered, produced, premeditated overall. Thrills manages to do 'mimimal (in the most UN-minimal, fattened up & slamming way possible) and 'raw' at the same time.

login name (fandango), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 19:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ronan, have you heard the "Your Body Is My Body (Kiki Rmx)"?

That feels pretty much the opposite of the 'cold' sound of Thrills to me. Give it a go :)

login name (fandango), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 19:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think Thrills is kind of warm and cold at the same time. The chords are mostly minor-key and the lyrics are few and far between, which gives it a cold, impersonal vibe, but at the same time the synth sounds are very analog and warm. I like that it's not as busy as Berlinette - more straightforward, driving, steady tempos and no extra elements added just for the sake of ornamentation - each element is only applied when needed. That lean, muscular sound just begs to be played loud. I'm surprised more people don't mention "Naked Rain" - that's a real standout track for me.

o. nate (onate), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 19:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

fangando-can you ysi that? I've love to hear it too.

rereading/remembering upthread about your warmth issue Ronan -the type of warmth Thrills provides feels better to me than Berlinette's. so maybe if you didn't enjoy B, maybe you'll like T eventually. i just know when people say this electronica is so "warm" i often don't agree - feels like there's emotive melody or vocals or organic or lush sounds laid over some totally opposing material and i feel annoyed to try to make it work. i had that problem with some Berlinette tracks, but with Thrills its much more integrated. Mabye b/c its less about warmth of emotions than it is about the well...the body, or atleast some other more simple but all consuming aspect of being alive. its all the sex/hunting/building/running/breathing we have to do so much that that might as well just not worry about anything else. atleast this is how i'm feeling it right now.

Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 20:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I don't find it as austere or forbidding as a lot of people say either. It's moody at times sure, but not in that ever-so-slightly-boring melancholic Mathew Jonson kinda way.

I love 'Naked Rain', those airy, soothing but forceful synths are as satisfying as any point in 'Mandarine Girl' for me. 'She Is With Me' seems underappreciated too... I flipped out completely the first time I heard (a sample of) it. I loved the off-hand description I read somewhere about "she even finds time to break a piano over Autechre's knee" zing!

Clearly I could still write a great deal of crap about this record and what it seems to describe so effortlessly with sound for me. But I'll spare y'all that.

login name (fandango), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 20:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Clearly I could still write a great deal of crap about this record and what it seems to describe so effortlessly with sound for me. But I'll spare y'all that"

altho prob not apparent, i'm restraining myself too!
and yeah i would say it moody and somewhat emtional too -i don't mean to describe it so ridiculously Ayn Rand? but I think she's celebrating some of those things outwardly.

Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 20:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

also Naked Rain is GREAT!

Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 20:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

To me it's a very different sound to the other house/techno I listen to, would it be fair to suggest that although this album is quite faceless and tracky on first impressions, it actually has a real stylistic quirk which really separates it from alot of club music?

I think that might be how I feel about "Thrills".

Ronan (Ronan), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 20:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Does it separate it? and how? I'm quite interested in that. Donut expressed similar feelings upthread, about how much of a 'listening' album it is. Is it actually hard to play out technically? or just to find the right mood/moment for it?

login name (fandango), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 22:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I don't listen to a lot of house, but the rhythmic feel of "Thrills" seems different to me than a lot of house. More of a techno feel, not as much disco in it. Also the tempo doesn't seem quite right for dancing - more suitable for aerobics or something.

o. nate (onate), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 22:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

walking maybe

Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 22:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I can't imagine playing stuff out off this record, but I'd be interested to hear if people are, anyone know?

Ronan (Ronan), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 22:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

besides the tempo/rythmic stuff, she uses string sounds alot more than others do and somewhat differently, right?

Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 22:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I could open a set with the intro track.

Ronan (Ronan), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 22:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink


xpost - The whole field of genre labelling seems a tangled nightmare at the moment, which is also probably healthy, but still I find "Thrills" touching on House/ElectroHouse (and as you've pointed out before maybe descended from her "Fleig Mit" mix)... but no way would I sit it more than 25% in that category. It's quite a stretch for my understanding of what I take the term to represent (lighter, more playful & nimble dance music, less thumping & banging, more shuffling).

xxposts - I've actually heard quite a few mixes go south attempting to get her records in. Except for her own, unsurprisingly!

login name (fandango), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 22:29 (twelve years ago) Permalink

xpost: i almost think its too hot to play out. but if you wanna risk it... If I were a dj (which i'm not!) I'd play it along with stadium rock or something awful like that.

Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 22:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm waiting for her to play Kate Bush out!

(check her website charts this month ^_^ )

login name (fandango), Wednesday, 14 December 2005 22:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I heard one of the djs from the robots crew in nyc mix in "Your Body of My Body" excellently into a techno set. A bunch of Luciano remixes were played around it, but I don't remember the songs it was mixed into and from.

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Thursday, 15 December 2005 04:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I can't imagine playing stuff out off this record, but I'd be interested to hear if people are, anyone know?

i've heard 'magma' played out quite a lot (and have played it myself), and it always got a great reaction - it definitely felt like one of the anthems of the summer for me. i haven't heard 'come' but that would definitely get me going, and i think 'washing machine is speaking' and 'the brain is lost' would go down v well too.

o nate otm about the cold/warm duality of the album. i'd agree with susan too - there's something very physical, but also very internalised, about thrills, like maybe it's replacing the blood running through yr veins. susan, i'm curious as to what you don't like about 'washing machine is speaking'? that was my immediate favourite and still one of my highlights.

did anyone else read the great ellen interview in plan b back when this came out? she said lots of interesting things about how she made it.

The Lex (The Lex), Thursday, 15 December 2005 13:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

would love to hear 'Down' in a techno set

Sororah T Massacre (blueski), Thursday, 15 December 2005 13:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Apart from "turning the knobs is endless fun" I didn't remember her saying much interesting in that particular interview w/r/t producing? Here, if anyone wants to read it [mods plz delete links if I am killing print media & putting alex out of a job :( ]


There's a list of all the gear she uses at the end of this piece though, which might be interesting (if you understand anything about that stuff, I don't) - http://www.shejay.net/articleDetail.php?articleID=185

login name (fandango), Thursday, 15 December 2005 16:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

playing them out, it may be hard to modulate them enough to keep them from sneaking out on their own and making you feel like you're just taxiing her music around. although i personally wouldn't have a problem with that. But beyond that issue, I think the tracks themselves have great potential for dancefloor/club environ.

Your Body is My Body -- even at 8am on the subway, I'm totally in the hands of that heavy chugging sound mixed with the metal swirlies

Come as some sort of opening, definitely.

Brain is Lost when you're assured that no one in the room is sober or can move quickly.

and I can't remember what the others sound like. Lex, I'll have to listen to Washing Machine again b/c I can't remember why I didn't like it.

Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Thursday, 15 December 2005 17:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ellen Allien & Apparat "Orchestra of Bubbles" =)

frickin' username (fandango), Tuesday, 20 December 2005 03:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

it's called 'orchestra of bubbles'?! OMG.

i didn't mean how ellen made the album in a technical sense, more her motivation ("to turn myself inside out" etc) and what drives her to make sounds like that. i really love that piece.

The Lex (The Lex), Tuesday, 20 December 2005 19:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

via earplug - "Ellen Allien and Apparat are finishing up their first collaborative album; the Bpitch Control proprietor promises a blend of "open-air dance tracks, breakbeat beauty songs with my voice, and listening tracks — with guitars, bleeps, and emotional waves growing and jumping from one track to the next"

I'm somehow more excited about the 'listening tracks' that the rest of it, perhaps because I'd rather this was a total detour than "Berlinette" revisited... but I'll surely be excited about it all the closer it gets to April. Maybe time for a new thread in 2006?

Merry Christmas (fandango), Thursday, 22 December 2005 19:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The new thread must start out with a brownish square!

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Thursday, 22 December 2005 20:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i just realized i don't have access to promos anymore. i'm in the arms of fucking sadness. i could even be in the arms of sadnesses fucking.

the square! i totally associate that color with Thrills now.

Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Thursday, 22 December 2005 21:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I swear the square was a link to the Thrills album cover at one point.

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Thursday, 22 December 2005 23:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

Felt compelled to listen to Thrills all morning. Despite its title Your Body Is My Body is probably my favourite track, for the hum that drifts in at 1:20 and for nailing the album's cold/warm vibe. Surprised at how little it's mentioned in this thread.

And whatever happened to Susan Douglas?

Jedmond, Monday, 21 May 2012 03:11 (five years ago) Permalink

the kiki remix of "your body..." is superb as well


liberté, égalité, beyoncé (lex pretend), Monday, 21 May 2012 09:23 (five years ago) Permalink

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