The German electro recluse Helena Hauff has emerged from her internet absence with the announcement of her next album, Qualm, which will be released on Aug. 3 through Ninja Tune.
Through Qualm, Hauff presents a distinct duality. The German word “Qualm” (kvalm) translates to fumes or smoke, whereas the English meaning refers to an uneasy feeling of doubt, worry, or fear, especially about one’s own conduct. True to these translations, Qualm posses an unapologetically raw aura of Hauff, and returns to her original modus operandi – jamming on machines – “trying to create something powerful without using too many instruments and layers,” as described in a press release.
Sequenced back-to-back on the forthcoming album, “Qualm” and “No Qualms” allude to the previously mentioned definitions.
On “Qualm,” Hauff jams on her machines, laying down a hazy synthesizer heater whose palpable anticipation reigns supreme. Though on “No Qualms,” Hauff leans into the fear with arduous cadence and heavy grit. Its punishing music fit only for those brave enough for a full-on dungeon experience. Judging by the two tunes’ juxtaposition, Qualm will be a heavy listen and journey unmistakenly worth the wait.
Album Cover Photo Credit: Fabian Hammerl