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      Hot Sugar's Cold World

      Released Nov 6, 2015 1h 25m Documentary Music TRAILER for Hot Sugar's Cold World: Trailer 1 List Hot Sugar's Cold World: Trailer 1 Hot Sugar's Cold World: Trailer 1 1:28 View more videos
      Reviews 50% Audience Score Fewer than 50 Ratings Nick Koenig, also known as Hot Sugar, travels to Paris to create music made entirely from the sounds of his environment. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

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      Abby Garnett Village Voice This would be great ammo for any parents out there who suspect their bartender-DJ son is going down the wrong path; the average viewer will find little justification to continue watching. Nov 3, 2015 Full Review Elias Savada Film International No doubt some out there like the electronic beat that Lough captures. Watching him work has some fascinating moments. His performances are uniquely intense instrumental sessions. Yet, Koenig's music is an acquired taste. Rated: 2.5/5 Dec 22, 2015 Full Review Todd Jorgenson Cinemalogue ... doesn't inspire sympathy or appreciation. Nov 27, 2015 Full Review Ethan Alter Film Journal International More a doodle than a fully formed documentary, this chronicle of a modern-day musical maestro nevertheless dances to an intriguing tune. Nov 5, 2015 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member Excerpt from Cinematic Codes Review: Spring 2016 Issue: for visuals see: Hot Sugar's Cold World: Where Samples Come From When I tried to create a short animated cartoon, I found a few websites that offered free samples of explosions, engines starting and all the other basic sounds that might be involved in interplanetary warfare, but if I was going to make a full series about my little group of space travelers, the sound of their engines starting would sound suspiciously identical every time, as it does on most primetime shows about things out of this world. I also frequently use stock images on Pixabay when I'm designing cover art for Anaphora. There are some great public domain free art out there, but after 180 covers, I am seeing some of the same potential images creeping in despite Pixabay having over 500,000 different images. The pool of free samples is much smaller for musicians, as it is a bit less common for somebody to record sounds as opposed to snapping pictures and posting them online for free re-use. From this perspective, I can really appreciate a young musician like Nick Koenig setting out to record a variety of his own sounds that he could mix to create more original and enticing music. If I had a similar project, I might record sounds that I could create at home with all the junk lying around, the sound inside a fruit, the dishwasher, scanner, and other things that could be manipulated not to sound like themselves. But, Nick goes a long way to find sounds in the natural world, in cityscapes, and in the mouth of his girlfriend. Here's how Nick explains the problem he is working to solve in the film's opening: "Starting from the beginning, I wanted to record different sounds, so I started recording violin, drum sounds because anything can be turned into anything. Producers use sims [samples] and most of them come from software that have stock sims. Everyone ends up using the same sounds. You can always tell that sounds have the same melody in the profession. That's never been a problem. That's pop music in general. But the fact that people use the same instrument patch every time has always frustrated me. There's no studio fees. I don't have to pay for anything when I make any song, regardless if it's a throwaway beat that I just throw on Sound Cloud or if I get to the roots." The studio fees Nick mentions can run in the hundreds or thousands hourly just to use a quiet room and a microphone. With his own laptop and a good microphone, Nick manages to record a wide range of sounds. Recording an equivalent quantity would cost a prohibitive amount in a studio, and this cost is the reason so many other musicians opt out of original recording in favor of pre-made popularly used bits of noise. One of the glitches though is a lack of structure when Nick puts the bits he collects together. There were rules of musical composition that Beethoven and Chopin followed, which made the music easy to listen to and allowed listeners to imagine a story behind the notes. What Nick is collecting is bits of random sounds, and he does a good job making them easy to dance to, but they fail to tell a coherent story and they fail to create dramatic escalation or natural waves of sound like the classics do. At one point of this film, Nick goes to Paris, and he travels to all these other places, perhaps to make the film more engaging as opposed to just showing him recording and editing sounds in his room. But, if he spends the bulk of his life on these travels, he is missing out on the progress his music could make if he read more about musical theory and figured out how to make modern classics, rather than just fleeting experiments in unusual noises. It's frustrating that he's taking great first steps, but isn't going further. In the image below, he's recording his girlfriend, Rachel, making clicking and chewing noises on a bed. The noises sound familiar, like something from a pop song, and yet the series of them is unique to this particular chewing session. Each bit of sound is equivalent to a brushstroke or a musical note. It's important to stop and listen to these types of moments. Young writers are frequently told to write with all of their senses, their sense of sound and smell being two that are frequently ignored by new or pop writers in favor of sight. Describing or capturing the world of sound is a worthwhile endeavor, and a curious experiment. Fig. 46. Nick Koenig, left, and his musician girlfriend, Rachel Trachtenburg recording sounds of chewing. The sound of a house exploding is something that can certainly be useful for a Hollywood film, but I'm not sure why it would make an appearance on a song. I would imagine that Nick would sell these types of sounds to the sims collectors or paid stock websites to support his fun projects, but he did not say that this is the case in the film. Perhaps, there is too little money in selling a tiny explosion sound when there are so many free explosions available. Or perhaps the explosions that come with mainstream film production software is all made in a studio of a giant corporation rather than by individual recorders like Nick. It's certainly interesting to watch Nick recording it in the middle of a residential neighborhood, without getting sent to jail. Fig. 47. Nick Koenig recording a mini house exploding. The most curious part of this film is when Nick recorded in a cave. When I tried editing music on my laptop, there were several ways to mutate a sound to make it sound longer, deeper, and otherwise more cave-like, so why go to such great length to record in an actual cave, and then why is he recording so close to the mouth of the cave that you can see light behind him, why not go into a really deep cave? Maybe he just wanted to go tour a cave? Well, once again, it's a pretty picture for a film. Fig. 48. Nick Koenig recording music in a cave. I really don't understand the shot of him recording the counting of money under water. I mean the point of his sampling quest is that he does not have money to record these types of sounds in a study. So, here, he is basically drowning in money? Why didn't he use $1? Why $20s? And yet again, great composition-beautiful, thin body, interesting angle, nice bluish-purple color pallet. This film raised a lot of unanswered questions, so I think I'd be able to get to the bottom of it better if I did an interview with Nick. As is, I have to leave this review in a state of confusion and inspiration. Fig. 49. Nick Koenig recording the sound of money under water. Title: Hot Sugar's Cold World Directed by: Adam Bhala Lough Writer: Adam Bhala Lough, Hunter Stephenson Stars: Nick Koenig, Frank Andrews, Danny Brown, Shelby Fero, Rachel Trachtenburg, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson Genre: Documentary, Music Running Time: 87 min Release: 2015 Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Hot Sugar's Cold World

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      Synopsis Nick Koenig, also known as Hot Sugar, travels to Paris to create music made entirely from the sounds of his environment.
      Adam Bhala Lough
      Adam Bhala Lough, Hunter Stephenson
      Adam Bhala Lough, Hunter Stephenson
      Documentary, Music
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Nov 6, 2015, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Aug 10, 2016
      1h 25m