When Helena Hauff picks up the phone, she’s in the middle of a daily conversation that has united us all during These Troubled Times: what are we having for dinner? Several weeks deep into lockdown, in her hometown of Hamburg, and the electro connoisseur is contemplating giving up DJing to work in a restaurant, having used the time to unlock a hitherto unknown passion for Italian cooking. “I’ve made fish with polenta and red peppers. I’m gonna to make some gnocchi tonight. I make my own pizza,” she says. “That’s pretty much the only thing I do.”
To which the obvious response is: of course Hauff cooks Italian! Classic yet unpretentious, rich in historical and regional quirks yet fundamentally simple. And all dependent on the best quality ingredients – in Hauff’s case, substitute a glug of Ligurian olive oil for a sharp sting of a ’90s electro rarity.
Equally at home on a massive festival stage or in a pitch-black basement, Hauff has grafted her way to the upper ranks of the underground since appearing on club radars in the early 2010s. As a resident at Hamburg rave-shack Golden Pudel, she gained a reputation for her deep-digging taste and out-of-time, punkish aura: drinking whisky, smoking cigs and, as legend has it, living off white bread and cheese to afford a Roland drum machine. She wasn’t even online, and her monochrome press shots, all leather jackets and kohl-rimmed stares, gave off an aura of untouchable cool. (That’s soon dispelled in conversation, when she turns out to be a right laugh).
Read the full interview on The Face