Helena Hauff – Qualm [ZEN253]

Qualm has a duality that Helena Hauff enjoys – The German word translates as fumes or smoke, whilst the English meaning refers to an uneasy feeling of doubt, worry, or fear, especially about one’s own conduct. True to form, the record is unapologetically raw and finds Helena returning to her original modus operandi – jamming on her machines, trying to create something powerful without using too many instruments and layers. By design, the 12 tracks are raw, distorted and lo-fi, with Hauff peppering heavyweight, redlined drum machine beats – think wayward Chicago jack, laidback electro and nails techno – with a mixture of razor-sharp acid lines, moody industrial textures and drowsy chords. The clattering intensity of the album’s dancefloor moments is in sharp contrast to the creepy and evocative, soundtrack style electronic soundscapes showcased elsewhere on the album. These – ambient in ethos, but more experimental in tone – are frequently amongst the set’s most inspired moments.

vinyl / CD

Helena Hauff – Qualm [ZEN253]