“Have You Been There, Have You seen It,” echoes Hauff’s inner voice; the title of her latest EP uttered faintly in a suggestive breath as the opening track unfolds into a cold, hard grime instrumental, minus the 2-step. Techno is still the order of the day, though, and her latest offering – released via the revered label, Ninja Tune – is a familiar four-track escapade through bpms, acid excursions, and signature moody, analogue ballads.
Fierce and hypnotic drum programming infused with a gritty, grime-esque synth line. No frills – only distilled greatness in the powerful cut, “Nothing Is What I Know”. Ground to a squelchy oscillation in the outgoing beats, this raw synth flows into “Do You Really Think Like That?”, signifying the start of the machine revolution. Over the next two tracks, dancefloor weight comes in the form of visceral distortion, reverberating bass tones and 303-initiated power surges whereby the soundscapes can be appreciated, but nothing particularly special – by Hauff’s standards – takes place. Enter the dreamlike, expansive melodies of “Gift”; an uplifting, funky hardware jam that injects a certain sparkle to the EP, mirroring the tracks’ peculiar visuals, which depict a scene of summertime frolicking.
Have You Been There, Have You seen It treats the listener to a concoction of analogue sounds and textures, accentuating the raw sensation born out of hardware improvisation. Although a touch anticlimactic – gothic, mechanical grooves ooze in abundance in a release that is equally likely to elicit gun fingers as it is grimacing faces. This may not be essential Helena Hauff, but its a welcomed Return To Disorder, nonetheless.