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Hot Sugar’s Cold World

Adam Bhala Lough
USA 2015 / 87’

Nick Koenig-known in electronic-music circles as Hot Sugar-creates something that he refers to as associative music. In other words, he collects ambient sounds that he then merges and alters until they become music that is somewhat saccharine but yet melodic, something that you can dance to. Hot Sugar is not a DJ who samples other people's songs. You could see him instead as something of an ethnographer conducting field research in fairly unmarked terrain. For example, he has recorded sounds as diverse as that of a burning dollhouse, orangeade powder melting in someone's mouth, and a mouth covered in lip gloss kissing the air. He has proven that it is worth opening up one's ears and listening to the warbling sound of a bursting bubble formed from gum being chewed by bored nerds in order to then transform those inconspicuous sounds into something sweet, a new electro version of that same bubble. In addition to his creative process, we get to take a peek at Hot Sugar's private life-as it plays out through snapshots Tweets, Snapchats, and emoticon-which seems to be just as eccentric as his particular form of musical alchemy.

Ewa Szabłowska


Hot Docs 2015 - special mention

Adam Bhala Lough

Recognized by Filmmaker Magazine as "one of 25 independent filmmakers to keep an eye on," Adam Bhala Lough is a director and screenwriter who is equally comfortable making documentaries and feature films. Crossing the lines that separate the genres, he sees an intriguing story and interesting characters as the most important parts of cinematic storytelling. He is fascinated by the dialectic between the private life and on-stage persona of artists, musicians, and celebrities.


2002 Bomb the System  

2007 Weapons 

2008 The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry

2009 The Carter

2013 The Motivation 

2015 Motivation 2: The Chris Cole Story

2015 Hot Sugar i jego bezduszny świat / Hot Sugar's Cold World 

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Cast & Crew

director Adam Bhala Lough
screenplay Adam Bhala Lough, Hunter Stephenson
cinematography Patrice Lucien Cochet, Chris Messina
editing Elliot Dickerhoof
music Nick Koenig
cast Nick Koenig, Kitty Pryde, Jim Jarmush, Shelby Fero, Martin Starr, Danny Brown
producer David Gordon Green
sales Monoduo Films
language English
colouration colour