Hot Sugar + ZOOM
Nick Koenig, a.k.a. Hot Sugar, is a man who has found an original voice in music that doesn't so much draw from a myriad of styles and influences as bending them to his will with a wholly singular palette of textures, landscapes, and sounds. He does this by drawing from the world around him — sampling atmosphere and sonic experiences and turning them into beats, beds, and melodies.
He does this with ZOOM.
Using a combination of ZOOM devices like the H5 Handy Recorder, H2n Handy Recorder, and iQ6 for iOS, he is able to draw out the familiar — sounds like the plastic scrape of a straw, a subway train in motion, or the murmurings of a child — to create music that goes beyond just rhythm and melody to the triggering of emotion and memory through the sounds we experience in our everyday lives.
This is Associative Music...Hot Sugar's passion and frontier.
Creative insights from the Associative Music pioneer.
TRANSFORM THE FAMILIAR
“We come across countless sounds daily that our minds consciously or subconsciously acknowledge. If you take the bus to work every morn- ing, the sounds of that bus may evoke a reoccurring mood. Associative Music samples these sounds, disguising them in melodies and rhythms in hopes of provoking a visceral reaction.”
GO BEYOND INSTRUMENTS
“I can make drums or a keyboard patch out of literally any sound in the world. I made huge kick drums out of a rat’s heartbeat, a snare drum out of the sound of me being painfully electrocuted, and an 808-type sub-bass from the guttural humming of an 86-year old, fully tattooed man.”
“Producer or musician? There’s no distinction. When you take a snake and let it slither over a harp, is the snake the musician or is it the instrument and you’re the musician? When you take that cacophonous, atonal record- ing of that snake on a harp and process it into something unrecognizable from the original, are you just a producer?”
“I run a lot of equipment through cheap boomboxes instead of amps since they were never really meant for that, and I like hearing equipment struggle. I’ve used a lot of bizarre equipment and recording procedures. Like microwaving cassette tapes after recording stuff to them.”
Connect with Hot Sugar
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A documentary about his artistic process entitled "Hot Sugar's Cold World" has been selected to be featured at 2015 SXSW, and fans of the incredible Broad City are already treated to his score and incidental music. As Broad City's music supervisor Matt FX Feldman says, “He’s a bonafide musical genius.”
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