Reviewed this week
Such has been the dizzying rise of Helena Hauff in recent years that the release of her second album, Qualm, feels like a genuine "event". Preceded by a limited, while label edition, the Hamburg producer's first full-length in three years is undoubtedly worthy of the growing hype surrounding it. 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.