Hot Sugar - God's Hand review


Hot Sugar's God's Hand is one of the first thoroughly inventive electronic albums to come out so far this year.  A slew of releases have already built up like a dirty snowbank since the new year and few stand out as albums on the whole.

Producer Nick Koenig was apparently moved by 'unexpected, disappointing life events' producing apparently his darkest album ever.  Oddly dark isn't a word we'd use to describe this album.   Perhaps melancholic but not maudlin and certainly not the other end of the spectrum into which so much EDM fits into - mawkish.

In an interview with Fox/Vice's Noisey Koenig had the following to say:

Despite the upbeat melodies, God’s Hand is the darkest album I’ve ever made. There’s nothing particularly evil or aggressive in any of the melodies, but a lot of the material I used as instrument voices sound bleak and sad. I tried to focus on the sadness in the mundane. “Not Afraid To Die” is a great example: the lead melody is the sound of a man across the street shoveling snow during a snowstorm (a futile, Sisyphean task in the face of nature). I had just dealt with a number of betrayals and unexpected, disappointing life events that made me very defeatist, so between the sad things, I chose to record and the happy redeeming melodies I’d turn them into. The whole thing feels bittersweet.
Personally if you want dark (we could give you a short and long list of 2014/2015 that distinguished themselves in no other way) look no further than Lorn's Certain Limbs that squeaked out a couple of months ago to not enough fanfare (that shit is Blade Runner dark and equally brilliant).  God's Hand is definitely pensive and has a lot of melancholic motifs but its the sort of left-field material one could easily see Gaslamp Killer or any of the Brainfeeder dropping live in one of their sets.

Learning more about Koenig it becomes clear that he's a real devotee of Associative Music and the belief that 'everything has a voice' and 'anything can be music'.  Koenig wants to prove that literally anything can be music, like the sound of people blowing bubbles or crushing cans on webcam for another project (Noise Collector) here represented by the track Bubblegum & Beer Cans, or the sound of a man shovelling snow across the street on Not Afraid To Die.  Elsewhere Koenig has recorded and played back the sounds of plants to themselves.

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