Helena Hauff - Qualm
Critic Score
Based on 16 reviews
2018 Ratings: #242 / 727
User Score
Based on 78 ratings
2018 Ratings: #561
August 3, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Ninja Tune / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Guardian

Hauff’s music has become louder, more raw and strident, and her second album, Qualm, is a victory lap.

85
The 405
It is techno gorgeously streamlined; straddling the fucking weird and the primally gratifying, as present in the grimiest tunnel raves as in soundtracking the imminent robot revolution.
83
A.V. Club

Like all of Hauff’s work, Qualm offers a lot to chew on while also resisting overanalyzing. You let it lure and lash you, let it move you or just move on.

80
The Line of Best Fit

With Qualm, Hauff has further enhanced her reputation as a vital voice in contemporary dance music.

80
The Independent

The attraction of Qualm is often in its simplicity and its desire to create something with a more infectiously raw, cerebral quality.

80
AllMusic

Qualm generally shifts away from the Drexciyan melodies of Discreet Desires, but it's just as precisely focused as that album, and anyone who has enjoyed her prior recordings or Hauff's unrelenting DJ sets should enjoy this one as well.

80
Clash
With ‘Qualm’, Helena Hauff has created the record we both wanted and needed. It’s a statement of romantic infatuation amongst an otherwise hash, twisted and raw landscape.
80
Drowned in Sound

Qualm is a record of fiery, analogue experimentations and jams, executed by one of the most informed specialists in weird, retro gear and obscure electro rave.

80
Spectrum Culture

This quality of limited construction makes Qualm a record that has seemingly nothing to prove: No look-at-what-I-can-do studio trickery, no overly dense instrumental writing. The music is only as busy as it needs to be, and often that amounts to nothing more than a string of harmonies atop a pounding drum machine. The awe of it all, then, comes from how much diversity Hauff manages to squeeze out of this framework.

78
Pitchfork

The Hamburg musician’s second album is a spartan mix of techno, acid, EBM, and coldwave. Even at her most damaged, Helena Hauff’s take on noise is nothing short of opulent.

70
Exclaim!

The sum of the album's parts is an entirely satisfying whole, sounding at times like the sound of a machine collapsing in on itself, but not before letting you have one last dance first.

70
Northern Transmissions

There’s an elegant balance to be struck with alternative fans and the worlds of dance-pop. In her latest effort Helena Hauff tries her hands at both worlds with score-like tracks and moving beats that never give out.

70
Loud and Quiet

The record is unapologetically raw, even brutal at times, and finds the German musician returning to a kind of modus operandi, jamming on her machines.

70
Crack Magazine

While she isn’t the first in recent years to shun hi-tech production tools, Hauff makes her machines bleed better than most.

60
Resident Advisor

She's released consistent albums and EPs that said a lot with a little. Qualm achieves the same, but only in moments.

60
The Skinny

With Qualm, Helena Hauff returns to Ninja Tune channeling the spirit of The Hague’s electro scene and the bleak essence of post-Brexit industrial Britain.

chunderz
76
To be able to make something sound so grimy yet sprawling and spacious is no mean feat, but Hauff has done it in spades on 'Qualm.' It is a breathtaking journey that leaves you wanting more.
Scuba
72
That opening track, "Barrow Boot Boys" is soooo tight. I love that grit and analog synth pastiche. There are some great sounds and grooves on this. 5/7
CheapandLethal
80
Good
noonoo97
59
Great dj to go and see live but as a music producer Im not so sure, very forgettable.
holsgr
60
☆☆☆ ~ Decent and quite original work in which coexist a latent creativity of interesting but inconclusive ideas with some subtle irregular and boring passages.
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Track List

  1. Barrow Boot Boys
  2. Lifestyle Guru
  3. btdr-revisited
  4. Entropy Created You and Me
  5. Fag Butts in the Fire Bucket
  6. Hyper-Intelligent Genetically Enriched Cyborg
  7. The Smell of Suds and Steel
  8. Primordial Sludge
  9. Qualm
  10. No Qualms
  11. Panegyric
  12. It Was All Fields Around Here When I Was a Kid
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Added on: June 19, 2018