Ellen Allien – When music turns physical

Playful Magazine’s Editor in Chief went on a date with Berlin’s queen of techno.

By: Amanda Sandström Beijer

Photos: Stini Röhrs

The first new person I met in a very long time is Ellen. We were supposed to go for a walk, but it’s the one day that is rainy so we decide to meet at the office. She enters with a black rain jacket with yellow neon details and a brightly awake face. Greeting me without showing any concerns for the social distancing that we’ve gotten used to by now.

”Since the clubs are closed my days are completely different now, especially my Sundays”

Playful had a chat with her for the web-project we did – ”Corona Diaries” – where she mentioned that this period has made her see Berlin in a new light.

”Since the clubs are closed my days are completely different now, especially my Sundays”, she laughs and continues;

”I’ve done streaming though, since I love sharing music and it’s a physical need. But normally I come back home completely dead after a gig and lay down on my bed. Now I bike on Sundays. I’ve bought a new bike since my last one wasn’t outside anymore”, she jokes;

”I have this route that I really like in the city, and I always do the same one. I really enjoy Berlin with less cars. I feel it gives more freedom to the city. Even though people are staying meters away from me and that’s a bit weird. But well, I guess it’s normal since the media is handling this situation in their own way, and since it’s a ’rule’. But actually I don’t know if it’s such a good rule. We’ll see when the vaccine comes, I don’t really know what they want us to do, but I’m not the person that would take any vaccine.”


Ellen relaxes on her chair with her feet elevated - you can tell she’s used to a hectic lifestyle by now and knows how to be in the moment and in charge of her own time so that it doesn’t consume her.

”I need to be very strict with taking time off for myself sometimes. Because there’s always something to do. But now since we’ve been staying at home I’ve gotten even more connected to my mum, sister and my nephew and I feel very close to them. The same goes with my flatmate who’s working from home, and our relationship has changed. We’ve started cooking together and look at new recipes all the time. We’ve also been doing ’home gym’ nearly every day while listening to streams or podcasts by other DJ’s, and that’s been so much fun and more effective than going to a gym, so that’s on the good side of the situation.”

”But at the same time, I have a lover overseas and not knowing when we’ll be able to see each other again is tough. This person is working for festivals in the USA and all jobs are gone now, so it’s problematic in so many ways.”