The Note: Hot Sugar — MiDi Murder

Hot Sugar (a.k.a. Nick Koenig) might just be that strange guy you saw wandering around Brooklyn with a field recorder in his hand. Next time you see him, say hi; you might end up being the hook in his next production. A pioneer of his self-labeled “associative music,” Koenig uses samples of everyday sounds to produce catchy and interesting hip-hop.

Koenig is hardly the first to use real-life samples in his compositions, but in his defense, his take on it is something truly special. Using a significant number of audio processing techniques, Koenig creates stunning and unique virtual instruments that are surprisingly fun and easy to listen to. In fact, you may already be familiar with Koenig’s work. When The Roots discovered Koenig’s productions, they enlisted him to produce for their most recent album, Undun, the result of which is the track “Sleep.”

MiDi Murder is simultaneously a triumph and a taster of this production style, foreshadowing a full-length version due in early 2013. Enlisting a swath of A-list MCs (many from the Greedhead/Mishka axis of underground Brooklyn hip-hop), Koenig crafted a seven-track EP of futuristic and very melodic boom bap beats. There is no mistaking this for gentle synthpop; the sounds are dark, with an eerie ambience that can’t be shaken. They’re addictive and lucid, hazy and stuttering. The arrangements are well conceived, with lots of rhythmic interplay between one-shots, drums and the various MCs. The songwriting is very developed, as is the production. My only complaint: it’s not a full length release. Guess I’ll just have to wait for the LP.

For fans of: Das Racist, Gorillaz, Cannibal Ox, Aesop Rock, Mr. Muthaf***in’ eXquire, Danny Brown

MiDi Murder is out Oct 30, 2012 on Scion A/V – FREE DOWNLOAD HERE