Hiro Kone (US)

New York-based artist Nicky Mao crafts intricate, atmospheric electronic music as Hiro Kone. Her work has evolved from the lush, vocal-heavy ambient pop of her 2011 debut to the darker, quasi-industrial techno of 2018's Pure Expenditure, and while her tracks are often highly rhythmic, they're more concerned with expressing unexplainable thoughts and feelings rather than providing a club soundtrack.

Fits & Starts A former member of experimental post-punk group Effi Briest, Mao went solo as Hiro Kone in 2011. Her self-titled debut EP appeared that year, and she began performing at N.Y.C. venues such as the Knitting Factory. She contributed to David Van Tieghem's 2013 LP Fits & Starts. Two additional Hiro Kone EPs were released in 2014: the vocal-based The Unmoved Mover (Group Tightener) and the instrumental Fallen Angels (Geographic North). Following appearances on releases by Drew McDowall and Arp, Hiro Kone's debut full-length, Love Is the Capital, was released by Geographic North in 2017, featuring a guest appearance by Wetware's Roxy Farman. Hiro Kone and McDowall then collaborated on an EP titled The Ghost of Georges Bataille, issued by BANK Records NYC in early 2018. Second album Pure Expenditure followed on Dais Records later in the year, featuring Little Annie on the track "Outside the Axiom."

Booking: Artemi Remes

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