- At the heart of any Helena Hauff record—whether working solo or collaborating with F#X as Black Sites—are the machines used to make it. Maybe that seems obvious, but there's something distinctive about the way Hauff surrenders her music to each device's faculties. Her claustrophobic, drum-focused techno sounds as if it couldn't exist without the exact machines powering it. It's an aesthetic anchored to its own limitations, on which Hauff has pushed since her first record in 2013. So if Lex Tertia, the Hamburg artist's second EP with Werkdiscs, feels a little stunted at times, it's likely because there's only so much ground it can, or perhaps wants to, cover.
"Reaktion I" and "II" both riff on the same noisy jam session with a blown-out cowbell at its centre, each rebalancing the same drums and synths to highlight various grooves working underneath. Also cut from a shared cloth of 808 and 303 arrangements, "Drowning Demons" and "The Bean Field And The Gods" are brooding stompers issued in order of ascending anxiety and discordance. Only "The First Time He Thought, He Died" appears to be without a counterpart, and this helps it stand out. Hauff allows herself room in the chilly electro groove for a few subdued melodic components—almost like she's writing a song instead of jamming off the cuff. Everything leading up to the closer sounds like business as usual for Hauff, but "The First Time He Thought, He Died" is proof that she can expand her purview.
01. Drowning Demons
02. The Bean Field And The Gods
03. Reaktion I
04. Reaktion II
05. The First Time He Thought, He Died