‘Discreet Desires’ is the debut solo album from German electro artist Helena Hauff. Driven by a fascination with the relationship between artist and machine, Hauff creates a spontaneous, analogue generated techno, through freestyle jams and improvisation. Her debut release reflects her love for musical subcultures such as punk, nu wave, industrial, krautrock and avant garde electro.
9/10 Robin Staff review, 02 September 2015
Laurie is taking a techno nap, so he’s requested backup for the final edition of today’s electronic releases, Helena Hauff’s wonderful ‘Discreet Desires’, which I will now try to describe in as much ernest as I can muster. After a slew of 12s and minute techno slices, Hauff has readied her first record of real completist content, with ten tunes shot through as many lens of electronic music: analogue video game sounds, scrap-metal industrial, gloomy new wave and endlessly spiralled Krautrock. Join me as I appreciate a bleep here, a bloop there, maybe even a programmed drum thing on the way. I own a laptop.
Hauff opens up with the majestically worked “Tripartite Pact”, a track that wows with a distorted backline and a rigid, punishing melody; it sounds like if Blanck Mass had worked on a Castlevania soundtrack, though Hauff quickly repositions herself for a post-punk influenced track that storms the gates with staccato industrial percussion, offset with wandering synth drones in the background. Hauff could teach seminars in juxtaposition, and here she creates a whole landscape with her sound, spooky and brutalist in its architecture of melody, and creating the horrible feeling of agoraphobia with the skyward background ambience.
Hauff has absorbed a lot of different genres but her sound is her own, a monotonous rewrite of electro that stems from improvisation but becomes discipline. These tracks are vignettes, as you can tell with the throbbing, awakening kick drum of “L’Homme Mort”, but ‘Discreet Desires’ casts an atmosphere of total goth darkness. Those who want their coldwave served in the parameters of noisy techno, grab this. Those who wish Mario was a goth, here’s your alternate soundtrack.
Predictive post-script from Laurie: I agree but Robin used none of the right words.
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