Hiro Kone is the alias of Nicky Mao, a New York based musician and producer. She uses a combination of hardware, synths, and modular to cultivate her sound - a visceral meditation on rhythm, noise, and melody that has seen her release on leading experimental labels including DAIS Records and BANK Records. No stranger to manipulating macabre disorientations into enchanting new shapes, her music exposes the unsettling and sublime. She is known to draw upon a combination of modular synthesis, noise and field recordings. Instinctively responding to the precariousness of humanity, Kone’s cascades of twisted field recordings find an inherent partner in the effervescent current of synthesis and, in the process, forge new terrains.
Her most recent full length release, ‘Silvercoat the throng’ was described by Resident Advisor’s Dash Lewis, as “Beautiful and harrowing, falling apart and building anew.” The album captures Hiro Kone at the peak of their powers, alchemizing disruption and decomposition into regenerative interior worlds: “Within the darkness and absence is an opportunity for discovery.” The album features collaborations with Speaker Music (DeForrest Brown, Jr.), travis from Chicago’s ONO, and Muqata’a. Bridging neoclassical, jazz, noise and percussive elements, Hiro Kone’s world is one that unfolds and changes over time, rejecting genre for undiscovered potential.
‘Silvercoat’ follows 2019’s release ‘A Fossil Begins To Bray’, which was described as her most personally narrative work to date. The album uses equal parts melodic sculpture and striking absence to propel a “journey of discovery and self-analysis, proposing a potential reorientation towards absence in hopes of illuminating potential futures.” As impactful and rich as any contemporary electronic music with political intent, the record explores the persistent threat of techno-fascism and the potential of reinterpreting our recollection and interpretation of existence.
2018’s release ‘Pure Expenditure’, was widely acclaimed by publications including The Quietus (“Hiro Kone cements her position as one of the finest electronic musicians working today”), and Boomkat, who celebrated the album as “stunning.” The record’s live iteration, premiered at the 2018 edition of Berlin’s Atonal Festival, won equally enthusiastic plaudits from Resident Advisor, who selected it as one of the top five performances of the event, owing to a blend of “pulsating industrial rhythms to quiet bouts of ambience… the message comes across in the music's sense of purpose.”
She has performed an array of shows across the globe and been an artist residence at Pioneer Works in New York and the prestigious EMS studios in Stockholm. She has made appearances at the Red Bull Music Festival in Melbourne, playing live and appearing in conversation, as well as been a fixture at cutting-edge electronic events including Sustain-Release, Norbergfestival, and LEV Festival. Most recently she appeared at The Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme for their exhibition ‘May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth’.