The German musicians only ambition was to play her neighbourhood forbid, but the loud, neo-gothic hubbub of her brand-new book, Qualm, has put her on the cusp of clublands big league
‘When I wear a lot of black, it’s probably not a conscious decision: it’s more that you can’t see the tomato sauce stains .” This is a perfect moment of German deadpanning from Helena Hauff, a musician and DJ not lowered to make happens earnestly, even as she is treated with admiration by the team world.
In the five years since she started exhausting lines, she has become a figurehead for a noisy, neo-gothic responsibility in techno, handing lives and DJ provides of sometimes terrifying strobe-lit intensity that triangulate perfectly between acid residence vigour and industrial harshness. The almost completely live jam-packs of her brand-new album, Qualm, are the best try more to bottle that lightning; they are likely to push her into clubland’s big league.
This rise to prominence was not planned, though.” When I started, my aspiration was merely to play in this little rail around the area every now and then ,” she tells. As a teenager in Hamburg, she was into Nirvana, the Stooges and her favourite strip, late 80 s British trance-rockers Loop-” simply rocking out in my room on my own “. But when she went to a techno fraternity at 17, her changeover was instantaneous and total. It does not take a musicology PhD to see why the grottier dissolve of techno would appeal to a fan of the primal duplication of the Stooges and Loop- but at Hamburg’s notorious basement dive the Golden Pudel she also saw people whose minds reverberated with her.” I realised pretty quickly that the person or persons bordering the Pudel were pretty politically implied ,” she pronounces.” Not like a political party, but a kind of anti-capitalist idea, committing with helping refugees, anti-gentrification demoes …”
Hauff originated “re going to the” Pudel, often nightly, and practiced DJing every day-” it is and was a total preoccupation “. Before long, she was a resident there. Then she began to make tracks live their lives antique synths and container machines, caught the hearing of Darren “Actress” Cunningham and through him liberated an EP via leftfield electronic mainstay Ninja Tune in 2013. Since then, she has descended the ranks, collaborating widely, getting to know the rave forms of horde from Kent to Kyrgyzstan, but never altering her 80 s/ 90 s form beyond a continuous refinement of technique.
She is not bothered if she is called retro, though: she addresses fondly of Dutch electro/ battery-acid label Bunker never changing its electro announce because” they truly believe that is the ultimate resound: it might not have changed in 30 years, but it still voices more futuristic than anything else. I can’t think of one thing that is new, genuinely new – that isn’t in any way something that’s been did before .” Qualm is proudly straightforward,” a kind of strong, bizarre, one-drum-machine-and-one-synthesiser happening .”
Her success has come alongside various other women transgressing through in the former sons’ association of underground techno: she quotes Cologne’s Lena Willikens and Siberian superstar Nina Kraviz among her favourite routines. As with the majority acts, her coming to questions is pragmatic.” It’s important we talk about this, but I’m not on social media, I’m not like[ disco/ residence DJ] the Black Madonna, for example, who’s very active on Twitter and have decided to get her theme out there ,” Hauff replies.” But I know other girls say they started DJing after they ascertained me and that’s really, really cool. All the women who goes out and does whatever she wants to do, and does music and DJs and is evident, helps to make a change and make a difference .”
Hauff’s lightness of suggestion is freshening. Likewise, on Qualm, track deeds such as Fag Butts in the Fire Bucket and Hyper-Intelligent Genetically Enriched Cyborg capture the boundary between exalted and ludicrous that has always acquired raving so potent. She may wear black and hand draconian resounds that have been associated with bleakly cerebral industrial music, but those bangs are picked based on the pleasure-unpleasure principle and on the rejoice of learning herself part of a friendly parish in those early visits to the Pudel. Eventually, she is optimistic.” If I had to choose between producing and DJing, I’d clearly chose the DJing, because it’s more social ,” she supposes.” I do like beings .”
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