Skip to main content

Featured Post

Amazon to start its biggest Black Friday sale yet on 16 November

Amazon's Black Friday Sale 2018 is to be its biggest yet, running from 16 November to the 25th. Here's what you need to know.
Amazon is all set for its biggest Black Friday sale yet with ten days of discounts on electronics, toys, games, fashion, beauty and home products. Black Friday deals begin 16 November and end on the 25th.

Helena Hauff - Qualm Music Album Reviews

The Hamburg musician’s second album is a spartan mix of techno, acid, EBM, and coldwave. Even at her most damaged, Helena Hauff’s take on noise is nothing short of opulent.

High fidelity has never been Helena Hauff’s bag. Once, in what she’s described as her most disastrous DJ experience, an angry clubgoer berated her from the crowd, shouting, “Can’t you hear how fucking shit all your bass drums sound?” But as any fan of Wolf Eyes or Black Flag or the Jesus and Mary Chain could tell you, for many listeners, “fucking shit” is the whole point. And the German DJ and electronic musician has crafted her entire career around precisely that: techno at its nastiest, gnarliest, and most ragged—as bracing as a mouthful of bees or a toaster on the edge of the tub.

The irony is that Hauff’s bedraggled beats are actually exquisitely crafted. Spend some time with her new album on both headphones and a proper sound system and it quickly becomes apparent that cans won’t cut it: Her bass and drums, degraded as they are, cry out for big, fat speakers. This is lo-fi music, made on battered analog gear, and swimming in the sounds of line noise, tape hiss, and tube distortion. But translating all that muck—the spring reverbs, the janky patch bays—requires a hi-fi listening experience. Making those sounds sing calls for speakers capable of pushing serious air. Like a ruined building in a vacant lot, her wreckage needs to breathe.

Qualm is the Hamburg musician’s second album, and it is largely of a piece with everything she has released over the past five years, including 2015’s A Tape, a sort of pre-debut LP collecting early sketches and stragglers, and her proper debut, Discreet Desires, from the same year. Her productions stem from her tastes as she honed them as a resident at her hometown’s Golden Pudel, a notoriously go-for-broke underground club. (DJ Koze told me about the time he jumped from an outdoor staircase onto the roof and fell clean through the ceiling to the dancefloor; the one time I went, I ended up in the emergency room with a gash in my head.) Working largely with hardware instead of computers—classic machines like the Roland Juno-60 synthesizer and TB-303 bass synth—she turns out a whorled mix of techno, acid, EBM, and coldwave with no obvious hallmarks to date it. Most of it could be from any point in the past 30 years.

Hauff has called Qualm “a kind of strong, weird, one-drum-machine-and-one-synthesizer thing,” and that description pretty much nails it. The album is grimy, her coldwave influence has largely burned off to reveal a brutal, incandescent core. At points, she may even be overstating her album’s range: On the opening “Barrow Boot Boys,” it’s not one synth and a drum machine; it’s pretty much just one damn drum machine—a slo-mo blast of hammering kicks, toms, claps, and cymbals, all run through distortion until they crumble like the white crust of a burned-up briquet. “Lifestyle Guru,” which makes use of the same drum sounds and adds searing acid squelch, is more agile and less corroded but just as grimly focused. Unlike a lot of grayscale techno, though, Hauff’s tracks are also lots of fun (no surprise that she cites the Stooges as a teenage fave). There’s a real knuckle-dragging sense of abandon in her music; this is primal stuff, its alarm-bell buzz designed to trigger the same fight-or-flight instincts that have been bubbling through our collective blood since long before homo erectus got wise.

It’s not all so hardcore; some tracks are more like mood pieces. “btdr-revisited” is a three-minute fugue for bleeps and claps that careens like colliding space debris, and a few cuts are purely ambient fantasias or chiming studies in counterpoint. Others, though, are proper journeys. “The Smell of Suds and Steel,” an eight-minute 303 workout, bangs incessantly away at a barely varied drum pattern, yet coming out the other side still feels like emerging from some kind of dancefloor wormhole with your atoms subtly rearranged. The same goes for “Hyper-Intelligent Genetically Enriched Cyborg”: Acid might be dance music’s most done-to-death subgenre, yet she still manages to find something fresh in a mix of textures that’s evocative of gargling thumbtacks and diamonds. Even at her most damaged, Hauff’s take on noise is nothing short of opulent, and it’s that alternatingly grating and sparkling attention to detail that makes Qualm so exciting. What might at first sound retro turns out to be simply timeless.

View the original article here


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

LG G5 Review In-Depth

Can LG take on the Galaxy S7 with a metal design, dual-cameras and an accessory slot? Here's our first LG G5 review, focusing on LG G5 design and build, LG G5 specs, LG G5 cameras and LG G5 software and apps.
Alongside the Galaxy S7, the LG G5 is one of the biggest phones (not literally) to launch in 2016 – and we're not just talking in the Android world. It's one of the heavyweights and LG will be looking to set the market alight with the G5's alternative and innovative modular design.

Oppo RX17 Pro Review: Hands-on

We had time with Oppo’s new RX17 Pro. It may be blue and purple but how different is it to the similar OnePlus 6T and is it worth your time?
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
Oppo has made a solid mid-range phone in the RX17 Pro. Build quality is premium, fast charging is industry-best fast and the display is of high quality.But the price is high at 599€ considering the OnePlus 6T with a better processor starts at £499/€529. And while functioning as it’s supposed to, ColorOS is still unrefined for the western market with far too many changes to Android to recommend over competitors.

Apple iPhone XR Review

If you aren't sure you are ready to leave the Home button behind and embrace Face ID, think again. We'll tell you why the iPhone XR is worth the sacrifice - especially because it's just as good (if not better than) the iPhone XS. Find out more in out full review.
Should I Buy The Apple iPhone XR?
The iPhone XR brings Face ID to the masses. We’re sure people will continue to rebel against the lack of Home button, but eventually we expect them to come round and embrace the larger screen, Portrait mode (front and back), animoji and memoji.We have no doubt that this will be a popular iPhone and it deserves to be. The only question is why would anyone buy an iPhone XS when the iPhone XR is just as powerful and has a bigger screen.

2019 BMW i8 Review

The 2019 BMW i8 is a head-turner for its looks, which hides its plug-in powertrain. That’s good or bad, depending on your priorities.Even among six-figure cars with two doors, the 2019 BMW i8 steals stares. That could be because of the dramatic wing doors and futuristic shape, its laser headlights at night, or the 2019 i8’s silent propulsion for up to 18 miles.
Or it may steal attention because, even after more than four years on sale, it’s a very rare sight.

BlackBerry KEYone Review

BlackBerry soliders on with a curious Android device that gets nearly everything right. It’s not for everyone though, in fact, it’s not really for anyone. But if you want a physical keyboard you will absolutely love it.
Should I Buy The BlackBerry KEYone?
But then, the KEYone is the best BlackBerry phone for years. It has (finally) successfully melded classic BlackBerry design with the necessary mix of Android and nostalgia. Importantly, the latter is only faint this time – this is a device for 2017, not 2007.If you love your iPhone or Samsung, you’ll hate the KEYone and won’t even consider buying it. But if you’ve made it to the end of this review, chances are you’re weighing up a buy. If you think you’ll love the BlackBerry KEYone, then I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. You’re part of a minority, but finally BlackBerry has a phone for you that doesn’t force you to compromise.

Like Fan Page