Mathis and the Mathematiks


Mathis Haug

Mathis was born in 1976 in the Black Forest, Germany. Brought up with German folk songs sung to him by his grandma, he also had her initiating him at the guitar, which she learned to play herself from the American soldiers stationed there at the end of World War II.

In 1982 his family moves to the Ardèche region in France. Mathis spends all of his childhood there, taking piano lessons and discovering the blues on the radio, the dark, bitter and rough version of the 30’s, along with Billie Holiday, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Chris Whitley, Janis Joplin, Prince, Beck, Gainsbourg, Higelin…

He works on his guitar technique and begins to perform in bars and festivals between 1990 and 1994.

Mathis then moves back to Germany to collaborate with various local bands and musicians: Fanda Boom Boom (a collective of percussions, guitars and naked dancers…), Mat Robert and the Space Foxes, a rock trio for whom he composes and writes French lyrics, as well as the Hip Hop rhythm section of a group of Italian rappers.
Returning to France in 1999, he plays blues with the Spoonfull trio, swing with Claudio della Corte and rock with the guitar legend Ted Tunnicliffe (Tony Sheridan, Otis Redding, Johnny Hallyday, etc…).

His encounter with English schoolmate and guitarist Seamus Taylor is a turning point. With him, he learns to appreciate funk and rhythm’n’blues. They create ‘Mathis and the Mathematiks’ in 2003.

In terms of musical concepts, Mathis is a citizen of the world: to him, musical creation is like a permanent flow, continuously irrigated with influences and nourished with encounters, never saturated. On the roots of his blues references of the beginnings are grafted the experiences and colours which he picked up during his many travels. Deeply affected by Afro-American musical culture, Mathis uses all his skills to accomplish, with the Mathematiks, his first commercial release: “5”. The particularity of this album, recorded in a ramshackle home studio with very little equipment in 2003, melts electronic sounds and analogue sixties effects with his basically acoustic and quite traditional style. “5” is a blend of great coherence, subtle, striking, explosive and totally inspired. This musical “crossbreeding” allows him to unite a steadily growing audience in the group’s concerts far and wide.

From 2002 to 2004, Mathis settles in Barcelona, where the commercial history of the album “5” (released on the Spanish label Pueblo Records in 2004) starts. Introduced and helped by the godfather of Spanish rock critics Diego Manrique (daily national El Pays), this sound puzzle, a generational melting-pot, is greatly welcomed by audiences, press and music professionals alike. A Spanish journalist even creates a new word to define the style of this album: “rootstronica”.: The album is on the national Radio 3 play list, and “4.4.2” is the official song of the In-Edit ‘Beefeater’ Festival taking place in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Santiago de Chile. The title also illustrates the ads of the brand on the radio and television channels. The band tours nation-wide.

During the same period, Mathis receives the “Talent Jazz” award at the famous Vienne Jazz Festival in France and appears on various compilations: “Blues Beat Sessions” (dro / east west), “Blues autour du zinc”, "Cahors Blues Festival…

Released in France in June 2005 via Productions Spéciales in June 2005, the album is critically acclaimed by the French music professionals: the disc is aired on French radio and in the mk2 chain of cinemas and is extensively reviewed in the French press (Rolling Stone, Crossroads, L’Humanité, Longueurs d’ondes…). Mathis & the Mathematiks are included on the Radio Neo compilation, on the Rolling Stone summer compilation and on “Flamming the Blues 0.2” – The “4.4.2” video clip, directed by Yragaël Gervais, is broadcast on MCM France, M Rock, Mezzo, Pink tv etc.

An excellent guitar player, this young singer/songwriter with an extraordinary and powerful voice attracts audiences of all ages and backgrounds. With his strong stage personality, the inspired showman turns himself to an extravagant glamour character, whose magnetism and generosity make each of his concerts a resounding success.



Release date: January 01, 2005

These days, it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish one style of music from another. The genres have become so open that the record shops find it more and more difficult to put the new releases into the existing racks of musical definitions.
This is certainly the case for (5), the first Mathis & the Mathematiks album anchoring itself in that new generation of musicians who experiment with electronic and acoustic elements, who marry the analogue and digital eras. The difference being that (5) is resolutely homemade, recorded with minimalist equipment in a makeshift studio. Two micros SM58, a little fender and a mixing table of no great sophistication, and analogue effects in the mix are the only creative technical tools they have had at their disposal to enhance the character of the instruments, including a beat-box and analogue keyboard.
A breeding ground of sounds which come from afar, a sonorous puzzle, a generational melting pot, the album invites the listener to a journey through styles that have travelled through the century. From intimist folk ballads inspired by Dylan to afro-beat rhythms, via Delta blues, funk, hip hop grooves and disco to rock sounds, (5) explores a variety of musical colours without losing its cohesion and personality.

Mathis and the Mathematiks - 5