An Introduction to Associative Music
Hot Sugar is a music producer who specializes in what he calls “associative music.” This type of music combines sounds from various instruments and found objects to create new melodies. Hot Sugar has been perfecting this technique since he was a teenager, and he continues to innovate in the realm of music production.
According to an article for NPR, Hot Sugar combines a bit of everything in the world around him into a musical interpretation of the sounds we hear daily, from refrigerators humming to dogs barking down the street. Associative music was an ideal path for many of today’s artists who try different mediums and platforms to find themselves. By associating the sounds that appear disconnected on the surface, associative music opens the possibility of identifying new relationships and ways to see the world.
As a fan of Hot Sugar’s music, it’s interesting to see how these influences impact other musical artists both directly and indirectly. Jeremy Malvin, based in Brooklyn, is the creative mastermind behind the popular indie electronic project Chrome Spark.
Chrome Sparks blend playfully manipulated samples and vocals, and are equally primed for dance parties and chilling out. Like other associative artists, Chrome Sparks frequently tours as both a DJ and with a live band, sharing the stage with bands of all types. Jeremy Malvin also tours in a duo named Slow Magic.
Chrome Sparks’ music has progressed into a signature style, and as such, has been included in the soundtracks of many popular movies and TV shows – one example being “The Fault in Our Stars”.
The duo Crème Blush includes vocalists Nicole Pinto and Satsuki Ohtake. Both artists excel in multiple mediums and incorporate their wide range of expertise into a unique associative sound. Pinto also took vocal lessons and studied dance before meeting Ohtake. Satsuki Ohtake, a classically trained pianist, also works as a professional henna artist for major brands, including MTV.
By blending their unique talents and associating multiple interpretations of the world around them, Creme Blush continues to release new albums and stay atop the New York music scene.
Future of Associative Music
Associative music lacks a firm definition, so it is no surprise that artists have taken the concept in many directions. Hot Sugar initiated the concept and still produces his own unique mix of sounds of all types, but other artists have expanded beyond just associating sounds to associating multiple art forms and even multiple artists.