Respect the Neighbors • Hot Sugar
Since 2013, producer Nick Koenig aka Hot Sugar has been teasing the release of his full-length God's Hand. This past February, God's Hand LP was finally let loose on the public. Complete with a T-shirt bundle, a series of music videos directed by Koenig himself, and a tour alongside Ratatat, I'd say that Hot Sugar has had a memorable year. God's Hand is a strong addition to Koenig's already powerful discography, which includes the stellar instrumental projects Moon Money and Muscle Milk, as well as the Scion A/V collaborative EP, MiDi Murder, which might be best known for sampling the obnoxious AOL dial-up noise.
While these might be interesting tidbits into the life of a standard music producer, for Brooklyn's Hot Sugar, everything runs a bit differently. Sure, the release of the album was welcome with open arms, but it's the sounds that are contained within the LP that make Hot Sugar all the more appealing.
Gathering field recordings and natural samples (a style of recording he calls “associative music”), Koenig strays away entirely from stock sounds, instead creating an atmosphere and riveting realm all his own. If you hear drums on his album, know that they are from doors slamming, from shoes kicking walls, from someone burping loudly. If you hear a synth, know that it's water dripping from a sink, or a man singing inside of a cave.
But why talk about Hot Sugar right now if his album dropped back in February? Because one month after his album was released, a documentary about his personal life and his craft premiered at Austin's SXSW film festival. Now, eight months later, the film is available for the public, as mini clips are presented via Noisey's YouTube channel every week. Six clips deep at the moment, you can jump into the world of Hot Sugar, who shoots fireworks with film stars and sneaks into French catacombs. From breakups to underground shows, this intimate look into the life of one of my favorite producers is something special; far too often talented producers remains behind the scenes, but Hot Sugar's story is far too memorable to keep quiet. Thanks to director Adam Bhala Lough (who also directed Lil' Wayne's controversial documentary The Carter) you can watch Hot Sugar's Cold World in all of its obscure, Tumblr-filled glory. I warn that it'll be hard to not listen to Hot Sugar's music directly following any of these six clips.