Podcast 697: Alienata
Spacey electro grooves.
Podcast 697: Alienata
Spacey electro grooves.
Alienata, real name Elena Puente, is a sound obsessive originating from Murcia, a university city in southeastern Spain. A former philosophy student with an interest in mysticism, she began DJing after moving to Valencia in 2004 as part of Overflow, a now-defunct collective of artists through which she arranged parties at the famous Metro Dance Club, where she later became a resident. This gave her the platform to develop a sound that broadly encompasses gritty electro, IDM, and dark disco, and in time her reputation began to seep through Europe. After connecting with Leipzig’s Homoelektrik collective, which first took her to Germany in 2005, she moved in Berlin in 2011, enamoured with the city after a first booking at ://about blank, where she played alongside Helena Hauff. Upon moving to the German capital, she found an adoptive family in the Killekill label and associated Krake Festival, and this relationship has shaped her into a respected mainstay in clubs around much of Europe.
By applying her learnings in philosophy to her sets, Puente hopes to move her listeners on a deeper, more emotional level. (Her alias also refers to her wish to “alienate” you through sounds you haven’t previously heard.) She does this by pulling records from across the musical spectrum, and this diversity and unshackled willingness to experiment has earned her the support of legends like Dave Clarke and DJ Stingray. More recently, she’s started to produce and curate her own sounds through Discos Atónicos, where since 2017 she’s put out music from Artificiero and Der Williams. In terms of her own releases, she’s collaborated with Sync24, founder of legendary UK electro imprint Cultivated Electronics, on a track for KILLEKILL, and teamed up with Beta Evers for a split EP on Disco Atónicos. She assures us that more original music will land from her soon.
In the meantime, she’s delivered her XLR8R podcast. Recorded in the midst of lockdown in Berlin, the Alienata mix is doused in nostalgia, and she tried to recreate something akin to the club experience by putting it together while dancing around her own living room with the strobe light on. She began by pulling some of her favorite records that have caught her ear recently, and whittled them down to the ones she just can’t wait to play out, coming from the likes of Carl Finlow, Gesloten Cirkel, and Umwelt. Then, that cold and rainy Berlin afternoon, she began piecing them all together on the fly. At just over an hour in length, it’s a woozy outing in hypnotic techno, industrial atmospheres, electro, and broken beat that’ll have you dancing around the room too.
01. What have you been up to recently?
Apart from sleeping a lot, cooking like crazy, taking care of myself, and trying to stay healthy and positive. I have been preparing the next release for Discos Atónicos and making some beats.
02. What music has been catching your ear during lockdown?
Currently all kinds of music! I have been rediscovering many gems and B2 cuts (those ones!) from my record collection. I’m also quite receptive to everything that’s been released lately; there’s a lot of interesting stuff in all styles. From ambient to half-time rhythms, electro, industrial hybrids, and body music.
03. Where and when did you record this mix?
I recorded this mix in my studio at home dancing barefoot accompanied by my favorite electric blue light and with the sky very dark and bright!
04. What setup did you use?
I used a pair of pioneer CDJs, my Xone:96 mixer, and my Focusrite interface.
05. How did you choose the tracks that you’ve included?
It took me a while to finalize the selection because there were too many tracks that I liked and planned to include, but in the end and after a couple of tests, the story was built.
06. What can the listener expect?
A complete alienation experience and a little bit of what I would play at the moment if that were possible. I was feeling the nostalgia for the dancefloor.
07. As the world begins to open up, how are you feeling about touring again?
I honestly feel a bit of confusion and contradiction when I think about it. On the one hand, I feel a tremendous nostalgia to go back to doing what I love the most in the world: playing records with the shared communal feeling of the crowd. But on the other hand, I am a bit anxious because I don’t know how things are going to be. Even if the world is opening up and the vaccine is a reality, I think we still have to wait a little bit to think about the idea of touring and show solidarity; there are still many places that have been hard hit by the pandemic.
08. What’s next on your agenda?
Apart from some live streams and mixes in the pipeline, I’m trying to be as focused as I can on finishing some of the music that I have going on.
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01. Naone “Center Creek” (UTTU)
02. Freeman Rch & Lefty “Azote” (Link Audio)
03. Liebknecht “Essex” (Science Cult)
04. Gesloten Cirkel “Prisonriot” (Bad Manners)
05. Carl Finlow “The Oberth Effect” (20/20 Vision)
06. Umwelt “Raiders of the Final Frontier” (Midnight Shift)
07. Serge Geyzel “Energy Master” (Unreleased)
08. Ara-U “Battle Royale” (No Static / Automatic)
09. Lazarus “Trappist-1” (Shaw Cuts)
10. Serge Geyzel “No Matter How it Starts” (Unreleased)
11. DJ Astrobee “The Wrong Expectations” (Datacrashrobot remix) (Diffuse Reality)
12. RXMode “Blast” (Unreleased)
13. Adrien d’Elzius “Toxic Food (Umwelt Remix) (Burial Soil)
14. SALOME “Terror” (Lobster Theremin)
15. Altern 8 “Hard Crew (Denham Audio Remix) (Stafford North)
16. Sam KDC “Gordian Knot” (Auxiliary)
17. Katatonic Silentio “On The Edge Of Unthought State” (Ilian Tape)
18. Mani Festo “Shunt” (Sneaker Social Club)
19. First Epoque “Epoque No. 7” (Dill Dodos Recife)
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