Rembo, her first album on Don't Be Afraid, is an excellent example of her approach to music-making. There are layers of Helena Hauff's complex textures as well as foreboding echoes of Detroit techno across the eight tracks, but the style—shimmering, odd, hard—is all her own. This album—her third, after Needs Continuum and Kiki The Wormhole, both from 2013—feels like it's designed as much for the brain and the mind's eye as for the feet. Way less lo-fi than the trippier Kiki The Wormhole, and more concise than the beautiful, long soundscapes on, say, New Roof, it shows her moving away from noise and drone toward slicker and more immediate dance floor sounds.
The album shows off her broad approach to body music, taking in pummelling techno ("He's Been Teaching Me To Drive"), an oddball digital symphony ("It's Not Worth The Bother") and '90s Detroit techno with a computer game synth line ("The Workers Are On Strike"). "Why Does Your Father Look So Nervous" and "He's Been Teaching Me To Drive"—one title responds to the question posed by the other—make for two of the album's standout moments. Complex kick-and-clap combinations are fast and insistent. The track titles might seem to offer clues to her politics, but as she told Tony Poland, they're mostly just a bit of fun. Rembo, a moreish and hedonistic album, shows an artist able to master many machines and styles.
Tue / 18 Jul 2017
01. Why Is There A Long Line In Front Of The Factory?
02. The Workers Are On Strike
03. Why Don't You Make Your Bed?
04. It's Not Worth The Bother
05. Why Does Your Father Look So Nervous?
06. He's Been Teaching Me To Drive
07. Did You Hear The Owls Last Night?
08. Yes, But I Didn't Know They Were Owls