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The Scarlet & Black

Hot, sweet, fat beats this Friday

Nick Koenig, more notably known as Hot Sugar, is an electronic artist most appreciated for his odd personality and unique sounds. His fame stems largely from his online fan base on sites like Tumblr and SoundCloud.

“I first found out about him [through his] really big internet presence, especially on Tumblr. He’s a pretty cool and really, really weird dude,” said Concerts Chair Moira Donovan ’14.

Many find appeal in his eccentric personality. For example, on SoundCloud, he made a six-second mix titled “Penis Waveform.” There was no apparent relation to the track itself; the soundwave was just in the shape of a penis.

“I didn’t really listen to his music until a couple of people on the Committee said, ‘He’s really dope, you should check him out.’ He ended up having an availability on this date so I brought him,” Donovan said.

His beats are composed well, with very solid transitions. The music flows smoothly as he moves into different tempos and makes good use of various sounds; many of them chiptune-esque.

“Koenig’s music is … well, personal,” an interview on his website stated. “If quintessential noise music is alienating, then Hot Sugar’s noises are quintessentially emotional, the end result of an alchemical process by which all frequencies and found sounds can be rendered coextensive with the human soul.”

An interesting element of Koenig’s work are the field recordings he adds to his tracks.

“Nick Koenig, for one of his new songs, made a field recording of the wind, mapped the sound to a keyboard, and played out a melody on the breeze. OK, Pocahontas. But seriously, this found-sound technique—which extends throughout Koenig aka Hot Sugar’s oeuvre—deserves some attention,” his Amphitheatre interview stated.

In summation, his style is undoubtedly unique, and deserves a listen.

Anthony Obi is a Nigerian-American rapper from Houston, Texas who goes by Fat Tony. Fat Tony, no stranger to Grinnell, has graced Gardner with his presence twice in the past. This time he will be making the trip together with his producer, Tom Cruz. In Fat Tony’s latest album, “Smart Ass Black Boy,” he delivers his views on family, relationships and everyday bad luck, while his producer periodically dips into some dancehall rhymes.

Contrasting Hot Sugar’s chill beats, Fat Tony’s rhymes are dope, to state it plainly. The lyrics of most of his music define the title “Smart Ass Black Boy.” He frequently addresses issues of gentrification and race under “squiggly” beats, provided by Tom Cruz. His songs encompass a range of styles from mellow, somewhat aligned to those of Hot Sugar, to very energetic.

“Fat Tony, he’s come here twice before, but he just has a really cool vibe and I really like his music. I’m not very educated about rap, but I know that I like Fat Tony,” Donovan said. “And then Tom Cruz is his producer. He does a lot of really cool stuff producing his songs. I think it’s awesome that he’s able to come along this time.”

Together, Hot Sugar and Fat Tony + Tom Cruz should create an interesting night in Gardner. Donovan has made it a goal to bring more variety to the concerts this semester, emphasizing more electronic and hip-hop artists.

“Part of [the reason I wanted to bring them to campus] was that, at the beginning, when I was setting up the lineup, I knew that I wanted electronic and hip-hop to both be really present … so I wanted to book artists that I knew were really good and really fun,” she said.

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