Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Melbourne-born writer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, performer and songwriter Hugo Race is an eclectic and prolific artist who has lived and worked in the USA, UK, France, Germany and Italy since 1984. A veteran traveller (Hugo first went AWOL from home at the age of 14 across Europe) he speaks several languages and has worked in varied cross-cultural contexts. Starting off in the Melbourne theatre world as a teenager, his first original work (a musical based on the work of de Sade, "Sweaty Weather") was produced at St.Martin's in 1982 with music composed by Robin Casinader (Hugo's creative partner in the avantguarde punk group Plays With Marionettes, 1980-83). Hugo was a founding member and powerful transient element of Nick Cave's Bad Seeds (1983-84), with whom he started working in the terminal stages of the legendary Birthday Party (he appears on five cds of the Seed's catalogue). In Melbourne he founded the Wreckery (1985) who went on to become one of Australia's seminal cult bands of that decade, releasing with the White, Rampant, and Citadel labels. (The Wreckery recordings will be re-released as a retrospective compilation ("Past Imperfect") by Sydney label Memorandum Records in 2008).
Throughout the 90s, Hugo released a series of nine records under his own name with the Berlin-based musical collective True Spirit for the Normal and Glitterhouse labels, (Germany), culminating in the "Long Time Ago" double-cd retrospective released in 2001. The True Spirit has toured Europe repeatedly, performing on a vast trajectory from the UK to Greece and were literally one of the first western (let alone Australian) acts performing inside the ex- eastern bloc European territories. Recording in diverse situations and locations from Brussels to Bologna, the True Spirit have followed a personal musical vision in a series of mutating line-ups that have fused the boundaries between the "primal" (roots) blues and raw electronica - described by London Sounds as "night music of the soul", and by Melody Maker as "industrial-trance-blues".
In 1999 Hugo set up his own production base, "Helixed", incorporating his diverse musical side projects such as the Italian-based "Sepiatone" (Milano2000 Records/www.sepiatone.net), the Zurich-based "Transfargo" (RecRec Records Switzerland) and the Sicilian-based multimedia project, "Merola Matrix" (Desvelos Records, Sardinia). He has also produced Italian artists such as Cesare Basile and Nove Rose, as well as the Australian artist Mia Stone's "Michaela" project. Hugo's involvement in film stretches from soundtrack to acting in such diverse major productions as Lowenstein's "Dogs In Space", Hillcoat's "Ghosts of the Civil Dead" and Rymer's "Queen of the Damned". Professionals interested in contacting Hugo regarding film sound and collaborative projects are welcome to contact Helixed here via this site.