Helena Hauff's 'Kern Vol. 5' Mix Is a Techno Blitz That Never Lets Up

BY Bryon HayesPublished Jun 18, 2020

The blitzkrieg assault of hard-edged electro-techno meets the tail-wagging thump of ghettotech on this expertly curated mix from German crate-digger and producer Helena Hauff. The fifth installment in techno institution Tresor's Kern series is loaded with blasted – at times almost industrial – tracks that span decades and subgenres but are laden with a coruscating energy.

Like an archaeologist and a revivalist, Hauff has shone a light into this dark corner of the electronic music scene with her own productions, so it's fitting that her mix is rife with tracks both old and new, both rare and commonplace. Paul Blackford's "Dance Yourself to Death" sidles up next to the contemporary yet retro-sounding "We Are the Cyborgs" from Volruptus. A straight up Detroit ghetto-tech cut from DJ Godfather & Starski bounces into the alien trip that is Galaxian's "Glasgow to Detroit".

Hauff deftly blends every track into a seamless cascade that runs over two hours long and barely ever lets up on the throttle. There are no leaps in logic here: this is a story that heads exponentially toward a rousing climax, before winding down with Martin van der Vleuten's "Internaut" and the nocturnal "After Dark" from Andrea Parker + David Morley.

The handful of exclusive tracks, which includes Hauff herself paired up with Morah, are alone worth the price of admission. Conveniently, a separate triple-LP version collects these and some of the more arcane cuts that are on offer. Yet, ultimately, the entire blistering Kern Vol. 5 is deadly, and a must-have for the dankest of techno heads out there.

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