Ezekiel Honig

Ezekiel Honig has been releasing his productions to widespread critical acclaim since 2003, in publications as diverse as The London Times, Time Out New York, The Wire, XLR8R, De:Bug and every manner of new-media source, being variously described as “stately,” “evocative and impressionistic,” “ornate,” and “an anthill symphony.”

 The particulars of his approach along with the uncompromising personality of his work, of finding the hidden beauty in everyday objects and ‘broken’ instruments,  have cemented his reputation as a skilled artist, a resonant philosopher of sound and a respected music label curator/manager to boot.  His own output has gone hand-in-hand with that of his Anticipate and Microcosm labels, which have steadily been carving out a space for themselves in the crossing paths of club music, slumber music and the many layers in between.

His perspective is one of simplicity, of using the means at your disposal to their fullest and finishing material rather than getting bogged down in the mechanics of technology for its own sake.  To this end he favors fine-tuning the processes of editing, finding one’s voice and identifying the ideal ways of working for the individual.

A New York City native, his idiosyncratic brand of emotively warm electronic-acoustic music uses the loop as more of a tool than a rule, painting outside the lines and nestling into a comfortable, shared space between muted techno, melodic, event-driven ambient, textural downtempo and slowmotion house – using them as reference points from which to stray, rather than as steadfast frameworks. Drawing on the rich history of musique concrete, Honig looks to incorporate a material nature into his music by imbuing it with a host of field recording/found-sound sources in the search for a balance between digital software innovation and the physicality of the world around us. Using the sounds of plastic, metal, wood and air in collaboration with Rhodes, guitar, horns, piano and other instrumental origins, his music is one of contrast and contradiction, combining minimal, abstract tendencies with a core of timeless harmonics – pairing inviting, fuzzy chords with clunky and dirty “mishaps.”

In addition to his studio releases and label work, Honig performs live consistently, and in this setting, strives to push beyond the boundaries of the recorded material. His improvisational approach combines loops and elements from various songs with on-the-fly arrangements, editing and effects. Viewing the recorded material as a constantly shifting body leaves space for serendipitous moments and leads to each set being an individualized rework, referencing and reprocessing itself as well as the song forms from which the parts emerged. As a result of this flexibility to tailor sets to the environment, Honig’s performances in venues as diverse as Monkeytown (Brooklyn, NY), Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro (Italy), the MUTEK Festival (Canada), and the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, have been known to take the form of deep after-hours techno, rhythmic near-ambient or heartbeat-driven installation.

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