STM 142 - Helena Hauff

Helena Hauff of Return To Disorder
Photo credits: Katja Ruge

The exclusive sonic narrative by Helena Hauff of Return To Disorder showcasing carefully mixed pieces created from 1974 to 2014.

The exclusive sonic narrative by Helena Hauff of Return To Disorder showcasing carefully mixed pieces created from 1974 to 2014.

Helena Hauff is a DJ and producer from Hamburg, Germany. Her sonic aesthetic is rooted in a twilight-lit area of colliding sharp acid sounds, cold Detroit rhythmics, monolith industrial scapes and even minimalist wave atmospherics. Helena’s sound world is intense, electrified, futuristic, but with strong traces of underlying emotionalism and experimentalism. During a relatively short time she managed to release several releases on such notable labels as Werk Discs, Ninja Tune, PAN and Blackest Ever Black. Her influences can be spotted in her precise and eclectic mixtapes, where heavyweight industrial beats, abstract experimentalism meet EBM rawness or the elegance of more atmospheric forms of techno. Helena’s musical path started from digging records from her local library collection, which led her to early exposure to such artists as The Cure or Karlheinz Stockhausen. This helped her to develop a unique taste and use it for realising her own artistic visions. Moreover Helena’s creativity stretches far beyond her solo moniker. She recently joined James Dean Brown in his legendary neo-tribal Hypnobeat project. In addition, she is also half of Black Sites project along with F#X, which also has releases on Panzerkreuz and PAN labels. Moreover Helena is a resident of Golden Pudel club in Hamburg.

“Secret Thirteen Mix 142” is a masterfully picked and mixed selection showcasing the wide spectrum of Hauff’s musical taste. Not all of these influences are apparent in her compositions, but that makes it even more intriguing. Here Helena nicely uses her excellent mixing skills to weave the story from the music of many different genres and eras. However, the collection never loses its conceptual track and everything is merged into coherent whole. Even though the release years vary from 1974 to 2014, there are no visible temporal boundaries as all these pieces form a narrative, which does not belong to any specific period and does not adhere to any stylistic frames. In some cases they are put into entirely different contexts here. Thus nocturnal Nico chant perfectly coexists with abrasive lo-fi punk of Asbestos Rockpyle, while monolith Kondaktor pulsations fit together with classy Frenchy new wave charms of Kas Product. The only unifying aspect here is that the tracks possess a strong character and have their own unique emotional twists.

This collection could be compared to Louis Soutter figurative painting “Masks”, a remarkable work whose profound modernity reflects some contemporary sensibilities and issues. Both pieces share the aesthetics of future and past and provoke a wide variety of emotional impacts and issues such as truthfulness, diversity, regression, artistic adventurism, brutality and creativity. The mix manages to maintain similar artistic intensity by using contrastive elements and building up the tension before releasing it to different directions. It is a very multilayered piece of work where many messages can be extracted.

01. Chrome - Night Of The Earth [Beggars Banquet, 1980]
02. Salò Mentale - Ganz Furchtbar [SD Records, 2014]
03. Kondaktor - Signal#1" (ANFS Remix) [Modal Analysis, 2014]
04. Club Moral - Nazis Of The Night
05. Helena Hauff - Blast! [Panzerkreuz Records, 2014]
06. Vercetti Technicolor - Jungle Witch Hunt [Giallo Disco, 2013]
07. Felix Kubin - Atomium Vertigo [Gagarin Records, 2013]
08. Asmus Tietchens - Moderne Arroganz [Sky Records, 1981]
09. Asbestos Rockpyle ‎- Police State [Warped, 1984]
10. Sonic Youth - Mary-Christ [Goofin' Records, 2005] org. 1990
11. Kas Product - Man Of Time [RCA, 1982]
12. Front 242 - GVDT [New Dance, 1982]
13. Chen Yi - Rug [90% Wasser, 2006]
14. Karl Kubler - On "High" [Invasion Planète Recordings, 2002]
15. Monster Apparat - Swedish Entry [Enfant Terrible, 2011]
16. Cosmetics - Soft Skin [Captured Tracks, 2010]
17. Nico - Innocent And Vain [Polydor, 2002] org. 1974
18. Cute Heels - La Symphonie [Dark Entries, 2014]
19. Atom Cristal & Satellite - Premiers Mouvements [Tago Mago, 1985]
20. The Legendary Pink Dots - The Guardians Of Eden [Play It Again Sam Records, 1986]

About Author

Paulius Ilevicius is a Secret Thirteen journalist, editor and occasional DJ focusing on more dreamy and melancholic soundscapes. Born in post-industrial town of Pavevezys, currently he lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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