Hugo Romain Aurélien Paris first encountered synthesizers as a child when, growing up in a small village of Provence, his grandmother gifted him a battery-operated toy keyboard. The instrument ignited a lifelong fascination with using, collecting and making synthesizers, pedals and other hardware, and later propelled him into studying music theory and engineering while at university in Le Mans.
After earning his Master’s degree in Vibrations, Acoustics and Signal processing, Hugo moved to America to work on the Nobel Prize in Physics-winning LIGO project. First at M.I.T., he later relocated to San Francisco where he started collecting electronic instruments. He used them to record the layered one-take pieces that laid the groundwork for his first two albums as Lavender, with Detroit/Berlin label Jacktone Records - Mystique Youth (2015) and Horizons Beneath The Surface (2016).
Between creating and performing those records, Hugo visited Stanford University's CCRMA lab, where he got the idea for a polyphonic modular instrument. In 2016 he moved to Portland, Oregon to develop the idea for leading Eurorack manufacturer 4MS. Early 2019, his invention was released as the company's flagship product, the SWN (pronounced "swan").
Hugo’s third album,Threaded Habitat, came out Aug 2nd 2019 as a vinyl co-release between Jacktone Records (Sept 2019 Resident Advisor Label of the Month) and Beacon Sound (Terry Riley, Colleen, Benoit Pioulard). It explores the complex co-dependencies and frictions between mankind and nature, as well as the inevitable cycles of collapses and renewals that propel our history forward.
The album is the first under Hugo’s birth name, marking a shift towards deeper intimacy and a further push into his lifelong commitment to music and sound.
Hugo is currently touring his latest album in an engaging audio visual performance using a vibrant mix of modular synthesizers, keyboards and percussions.
A2. Orb of Truth
A4. Medieval Vessel
B1. Convent Clustered
B2. Crooked Gears
The transition to the Hugo RA Paris moniker with this album marks a more personal shift in approach. Threaded Habitat combines ambient textures and techno rhythms to reflect tension between humanity and nature—particularly the cyclical nature of collapse and renewal. It also marks Jacktone's first collaborative release with the record store and label Beacon Sound, which has put out works from veteran experimental musicians like Terry Riley and Colleen. Beacon Sound is an important node in Portland, where Paris also lives and developed the flagship modular product for leading Eurorack manufacturer 4MS: the SWN.
The album's closing track was entirely composed on a SWN prototype and recorded in one take. In fact, much of his work is done in layers of single takes with minimal processing to preserve its raw emotion and embrace minor imperfections. As an MIT-trained engineer and physicist, working with hardware—from modulars to guitar pedals and tape loops—is essential to his process of not only making but exploring sound.
Threaded Habitat captures moments of claustrophobia and bliss in seven tracks and three accompanying videos directed by New Zealand artist Sam Hamilton. Visual art plays a central role in many of Paris’s projects, which include intricate audio-visual performances and scores for full-length films like The Modern Jungle (La Selva Negra) and its forthcoming follow-up.
The LP will be available to pre-order on July 1st with a limited, exclusive content sample pack. The handmade vinyl package features photography by Sam Hamilton and will be released July 19 through Jacktone and Beacon Sound’s webshops, with worldwide sales beginning August 2nd. A remix release will arrive later in the Fall.