Boris Hauf

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The music of Austrian Boris Hauf is split in two between saxophone and computer; Vienna and Chicago; and the avant-garde jazz scene of his first years as a professional musician and the much more experimental,…
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Artist Biography by

The music of Austrian Boris Hauf is split in two between saxophone and computer; Vienna and Chicago; and the avant-garde jazz scene of his first years as a professional musician and the much more experimental, reductionist style of free improvisation he helped establish a few years later with his group Efzeg and players like Werner Dafeldecker, Martin Siewert, and Franz Hautzinger. He has recorded for a number of small European labels, including Durian, Mego, Grob, and Extraplatte.

Hauf was born in England in 1974, but is now based in Vienna, Austria. He studied cello, saxophone, and flute in conservatories in Linz and Vienna, and spent some time at the Studio for Advanced Music Technology (Linz). Since he started recording in the mid-'90s, he has preferred the saxophone, occasionally taking out the flute. Since the late '90s, he has been integrating more and more electronics to his playing, either treating the sound of his saxophone in real time or performing solely on computer.

His first published recording was with the digi-punk band Fuckhead when he appeared as a guest on their 1995 album Video Arena and again on the Mego release Male Comedy. In between the two, Hauf participated in a number of left-field jazz groups, including Pull My Daisy (with Siewert and Lukas Knöfler) and the ensemble N-OIS-E OF. In 1998, he released his first album under his name. Entitled Efzeg, it featured Hautzinger and Bertl Mütter. The formation didn't last, but the name survived. In October 1999, Hauf formed the free improv group Efzeg with Siewert, Burkhard Stangl, and Dieb13. The quartet explores a silence-based music in a similar vein to Polwechsel and Dachte Musik. Their debut CD, Grain (2000), brought the saxophonist's highly abstract playing to the attention of international avant-garde circles. Meanwhile, Hauf had begun to spend a few months each year in the U.S., particularly in Chicago where he played with the electro-acoustic trio TV Pow, Gene Coleman, Fred Lonberg-Holm, and many others. Since late 2001, he has been putting out an irregular series of private releases/free downloads under the title Shameless.