Official Website for Hugo Race music & projects - Helixed Productions/Rough Velvet Records
prev / next
May 2015 - Glitterhouse Records, Germany, release THE SPIRIT, Hugo Race & the True Spirit's first album since 2009's 53rd STATE...
'A darkly singular experience then, and one of the best records he's ever made...'
Vive Le Rock, UK:
'Deep bass grooves, pivotal New Orleans-style drumming, hot post-punk soul, a hoodoo voodoo gumbo like prime Dr John...' – 8/10
Louder Than War, UK:
‘Race has a captivating low growl of a voice, instantly bringing to mind Leonard Cohen, but ‘The Spirit’ also glows with the noir atmospherics of Rowland S Howard and the coiled funk of Issac Hayes. The seductive
mood suffuses the entire, thoroughly enjoyable album.’
Distorsioni – Italy:
‘Warm and evocative, a voice that speaks of real life, passions, solitude, voyage, and the spirit of revolt.’
Rock and Folk, Paris:
'This voyager without frontiers advances through a menacing atmosphere of no-wave electroacoustics. There is the spirit here, and it doesn't forget the body and the soul...'
‘Hugo Race is a great institution in the field of independent rock music, and every new album is always well received. The destabilizing rock of HR&TS is never banal. In fact, it's this album's total absence of banality that renders it unique, and the clear simplicity of the songs even more disturbing...'
‘The Spirit is firstly a statement of intention, the shared image of a vision, the precise testimony of a state of the soul... Once you're immersed in the sound amidst the background of constant cicadas, there unfolds a slow, dense groove of subtle sensuality... A work of real substance, indifferent to fashion, intense like few others...'
Blow Up, Italy:
'Hugo Race returns after his ongoing journey through the rediscovery of pure folk with Fatalists and his African travels with BKO (Dirtmusic). This record (The Spirit), however, seems the natural guise for his big voice, and the encounter between moody roots inspirations and wild electronic flashes renders the musical backgrounds unique...'
'Stomping grooves and eerie guitars, this album tingles under your skin...'
‘Hugo Race's new album sounds like the soundtrack to a movie I would really like to see. I imagine a mixture of Twin Peaks and True Blood... dramatic, intense, cinematic.'
'The clash of rough and raw emotional sound is a highlight - nothing is fake or false here .... You can hear the sincerity and artistic maturity, which does not look at the trends and fashion, but consistently goes its own way.' - E-Splot, Poland
Rolling Stone Germany
'Dark Eros and transcendental blues…'
'Hugo Race and The True Spirit live in their own world of sound - blues, voodoo, dub, trip hop, Morricone soundscapes, psychedelia, industrial mysticism.....'
'Race does not forget about the delicious melodies. Even a recording as non-commercial as "The Spirit" proves that Race can create great songs. Noncommercial and great songs? A paradox? Only apparently. Listen to "The Spirit," and you will not want to get out of the swamp vapors...'
'Race allows the most diverse, musical influences (psychedelics, raw blues, gentle soul and electronics) in his own work, making for a private, definite, specific sound that emerges strongly, determined by energetic rhythms, sonic sound structures, and seasoned with Race's deep dark lyricism.'
Focus Kultur, Germany:
'No one else makes music quite like this, and that in itself is an achievement...
Hugo Race & the True Spirit - The Spirit – Classic Rock Magazine - Germany
The mood of the 10 dark songs is reminiscent of the last part of the classic film"Apocalypse Now", when the patrol boat reached the abandoned temple complex, where dwells the crazy Colonel Kurtz. He would certainly have liked this music. - 08/10
'In 2006 I described the album Taoist Priest of Hugo Race + True Spirit as "a combination of melancholic male Leonard Cohen, the big city blues of Nick Cave and the hypnotic keyboards Barry Adamson. Nine years later, my definition is still absolutely true. Beautifully constructed songs with dark and at the same time intriguing atmospheres...'
Freibank (Hamburg): It is absolutely okay to call the the new Hugo Race-release, "The Goldstreet Sessions" (Glitterhouse), a "killer album" on the sole basis of what the press says: "A soundscape marked out by Ry Cooder, Tricky, Tom Waits and Jon Spencer. Spooky!" and "Abysmal metaphors of sin and atonement, nightmares and despair. An unsettling psycho-schocker." and "Dark, dire, tender and bewildering moments. Always interesting and almost perversely accessable."
Logo (UK): “Suffocatingly rich through both its brooding, desolate atmospherics and Race’s gravel-throated whispers… Race and his True Spirit collective place a smouldering torch under the corner of psychedelic, bluesy ambience and allow it to morph into a cusp of experimental smoke and expanding, eerie beats. Concerned lyrically with the dawn of the new millenium, Race accentuates the ethereal feel with couplets as scathing and focussed as “you aint getting the real juice/just stupid lies and half-truths”, whilst rarely veering from the monotone murmurs that make this such a haunting and weighty listen. Essential listening.”
Wire (London): “…Recorded in Berlin, Melbourne and Catania, the Goldstreet Sessions has a warm live feel. True Spirit are joined here by Sicilian writer and singer Marta Collica (who also teams up with Race in Sepiatone) and Swans/Angels of Light guitarist Kristof Hahn. It opens with the low synth ruminations and trumpet blasts of “LSD is Dead”. The kick drum’s motorik beat sets an urgent pace, which Race’s deep baritone effortlessly takes in its stride. Elsewhere, his arrangements imaginatively deploy soupy wells of bass, harps and a beatbox intertwined over puckered jazz and soft electronics…. intense atmospherics echoing through dark skies…”
Rockarilla (Rome): “…the double retrospective “Long Time Ago” saw Race transformed into a high-profile cult artist… “The Goldstreet Sessions”, then, is the first chapter in a new cycle. Leaving aside the ecstatic “Premonition” and the desert feel of “A.M.Radio”, the atmosphere that surrounds “Goldstreet” is claustrophic and pressurised. A dreamlike blues laced with industrial experimentation, glacial digital beats, distant trombones and a voice cavernous as the recent Leonard Cohen. Music for besieged cities, beaten by incessant rain and populated by souls lost in the dark…”
Eclipsed (Berlin): “Goldstreet Sessions” holds up a mirror to a world that is cold, dusty and dangerous. His (Race’s) texts are merciless, like reality… “silence is golden, silence has its price” he whispers in “Hush Money”, giving the definition of the blues as black music a whole new meaning… alternatively, songs like “Premonition” and “Midas Touch” are strangely optimistic – Hugo Race goes Leonard Cohen. A masterpiece of psychotic blues…”
Frankfurter Rundschau: “Goldstreet Sessions” is Race’s latest blues-mutation, defining a sound between triphop, ambient and rock - the toughest and most intense record of his career. These trips are difficult – listen to the opener “LSD is Dead” or “Makes Me Mean”. Race and his colleagues are way badder than Calexico, much more distorted and twisted than today’s Bad Seeds, and bluesier than any electronica/triphop project you care to mention. We take this ambient-electro-blues-trip rolling a cigarette with our eyes closed and shaking up the next gin-tonic…”
Adrian Akkerman (in Melbourne) and Berliner Ingo Krauss (from the Caspar Brotzmann Massacre) engineered a large part of the recordings in diverse mobile studios. The album was mixed in Melbourne with Australian producer Chris Thompson (Waifs, Augie March, Bad Seeds, Silverchair) and noted remixer Gef Senz (Hickstep, Ping) from the underground electronica scene. The album was mastered by Cal Orr in his studio on the foreshore of the Phillip Island surfbeaches. Given the complex creation of this disc, the result is a seamless evocation of mood and magic that stands as a highpoint in the True Spirit story.
The 2003 Goldstreet Tour saw the band perform 40 concerts in Germany, Denmark, Austria, Poland, Czech/Slovakia, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Greece. The album has proven to be the Spirit’s most succesful release to date.