Ellen Allien & Thomas Muller Free Nation

Ellen Allien & Thomas Muller Free Nation
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Orchestra of Bubbles, Ellen Allien's 2006 collaboration with Apparat, helped the German producer stretch out her steely microhouse sound. On Free Nation, Allien again experiments with her craft, teaming up with Parisian laptopist Thomas Muller. Not quite a proper collab, Free Nation consists of four edits taken from a pair of pre-assembled skeleton beats.

Allien's edit of "Free Nation" works from a Grace Jones/Mute Records-influenced leitmotif, as her hypnotic vocal-snippets hum bold, while Muller's propulsive rhythm-heavy edit comes off more glitch than glam. On "Delta Zoo," Muller flirts with British dubstep and American neo-soul, while Allien transforms the song into a digestible, '90s-style electronic jam.

Far from an essential release, due to its arbitrary novelty factor, Free Nation is nonetheless a great musical exercise designed to help traffic these two prolific artists out from their respective comfort zones. (BPitch Control)