Qualm is the new album by Helena Hauff, released on 3 August 2018 via Ninja Tune. The title has a duality that Hauff enjoys – the German word “Qualm” (kvalm) translates as fumes or smoke, whilst the English meaning refers to an uneasy feeling of doubt, worry, or fear, especially about one’s own conduct. True to form, the record is unapologetically raw and finds her returning to her original modus operandi – jamming on her machines – “trying tocreate something powerful without using too many instruments and layers”.
Stream the first single and title track ‘Qualm’ by Helena Hauff below –
Born and raised in Hamburg, a self-confessed child of the 90s, Helena was obsessed with the music she discovered via the television on channels such as MTV and VIVA. She recalls her grandmother buying Technotronic’s ‘Pump Up The Jam’ at the flea market for her and watching coverage of iconic electronic music festival Loveparade in Berlin on TV. She has fond memories of borrowing CDs from the local library and making her own mixtapes – these days an archaic practice but from a curatorial standpoint these were her earliest outings as a DJ. Helena picks out Miss Kittin & The Hacker and Toktok vs. Soffy O as inspirations but it was the self-titled album from 2001 by electro icon Radioactive Man that was “a real eye-opener” providing the stimulus for her to dive in and immerse herself in the music and culture.
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[Image credit: Fabian Hammerl]