Helena Hauff – “Hyper-Intelligent Genetically Enriched Cyborg”

From her start in Hamburg’s underground club Golden Pudel to a 2017 BBC Essential Mix that earned her accolades, Helena Hauff has remained relentless in her pursuit of a sound she describes as “grainy and rough and a bit fucked up.” It’s what her upcoming album Qualm excels in: Drawing from the harsher end of techno and EBM, Hauff’s songs are made from from bristling, gnarled textures and sleek futuristic tones. “Hyper-Intelligent Genetically Enriched Cyborg” is the relentless centerpiece of Qualm, a dystopian slice of electro that’ll shove a soundsystem into the red. Her Roland 303 bass sends the track into full throttle, and a warbling high frequency gives the track a woozy feel, a visceral mix of raw energy and queasiness. Breathless and menacing, her anthemic synth lines conjure the heightened darkness and drama of an old 1980s sci-fi soundtrack—you could imagine it spinning during the nightclub scene in The Terminator. The bruising beats here encapsulate what makes Hauff one of techno’s most formidable forces.