Helena Hauff – Actio Reactio
Actio Reactio, Helena Hauff’s debut as a producer is not one to slip under the radar. Her addition to Actress’s highly regarded Werkdiscs label has created an understandable degree of expectation, and with all the attention, Actio Reactio stands its ground. Hauff’s debut EP is built on a DJing style that’s been honed at Hamburg’s Golden Pudel, where she presides over the night Birds and Other Instruments. With a mixing style that is constantly evolving and never predictable, she draws from a wealth of influences; electro to minimal wave, acid techno, even cosmic jazz and noise art. An extensive range of musical influences that has been creatively fashioned together through her DJ sets also guides the direction of her new work in the realm of production.
Like Hauff’s energetic live DJ sets, her music is based on raw adrenaline. The title track “Actio Reactio” is a ten minute burst of relentless drive, a test of stamina that shows no signs of resignation. It is a hypnotic mantra that washes over the listener, a drum machine-fuelled outpour of emotion that ebbs on the edge of agitation. The seductive “Break Force” wheedles the listener into deeper, coarser electronics, the kind that come raw and unpolished; drum beats with a snakelike swagger are pared with cheeky 303 moments for a slightly more acidic offering.
After the beat-driven escalation of the first two tracks, “Micro Manifesto” is a different creature altogether. With buried electronics that might bring to mind Nate Young’s solo work, it relies more on monumental fuzzed-out synths than percussion, and makes for a sombre and surprising conclusion to the EP. This unexpected shift perhaps highlights Hauff’s eagerness to boldly experiment with styles, something that has characterised her career as a DJ thus far. With that said, it’s hard to know what Helena Hauff might have in store for the future, but it’s safe to say that she has our full attention…
A1. Actio Reactio
B1. Break Force
B2. Micro Manifesto