Sugar and Gold

Sugar and Gold


Sugar & Gold are a six-piece electro-soul group burning up the SF Bay Area. Like the Everly Brothers combined with a fierce dose of Rick James synth, S&G put on a dynamic live show which never fails to get even the most uptight teasers out on the dance floor.


Sugar and Gold take classic harmony based songwriting and kick it into the 21st century with a healthy dose of Rick James and Young Americans-era David Bowie. With staccato guitar licks, a heavy bottom groove, and sultry female backup vocals, S&G put on a dynamic live show which never fails to get even the most uptight teasers out on the dance floor.

At the group’s core are Nicolas Dobbratz and Philipp Minnig, songwriting partners since childhood. Dobbratz, who grew up in Maryland, had a musical childhood at home, while Minnig, who was born and raised in Germany, spent his formative years kneeling in front of a record player trying to translate for himself and his brother the English lyrics of their favorite bands. Once Nic and Philipp moved to California in 1990 and met in middle school, they became inseparable friends and formed a musical brotherhood that has endured the better part of two decades.

Prior to forming Sugar & Gold, their previous stints in such infamous outfits as Dura-Delinquent and Connexion included several US tours serving as support act for BJM, BRMC, the Make-up and the White Stripes, and the boys have even served as an impromptu back-up band for Neil Haggerty.

As Phil and Nic’s songwriting has developed, they have found themselves refining their garage blues into a much more unique and soulful sound. And while the band never abandoned its’ DIY approach, by the time Dura Delinquent gave way to the Connexion, the band had a funk that set it apart from its’ garage rock contemporaries. Recruiting neighbors Fatima Fleming and Susana Cortez into the mix made things more refined and added a feminine element that helped ground the male energy. Song writing became smoother and lyrics more thoughtful; love and the city became mirror images of a troubled self in an isolated society.

Today, Sugar and Gold reap the benefits of the last three decades in electronic and soul music, blending sampled beats, live drums, and an array of classic funk and electro instrumentation. All of which is melded together by a fine thread of harmony making for a funky kind of Caribbean Kraftwerk. And despite their indie rock background, the band’s take on the funk is not an ironic one, nor is it a sloppy approximation substituting gimmicks and in-jokes for serious chops. Sugar and Gold are the real deal.

The band spent most of 2005 and 2006 recording in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Quite at home in most environments, Sugar & Gold performed everywhere; in front of sweaty punks in Brooklyn basements and groovy flower children at outdoor festivals in California. Everywhere they went, it was the same high spirited dance party and at the end of the night the band had new friends in every neighborhood they played.

The result of the hard work, the thousands of miles travelled, and even more kids moved to the dancefloor is Creme, Sugar and Gold’s 11 song debut album. Creme is a soulful reflection of the moods and character of these many neighborhoods across the country...scene after scene where the band discovered countless likeminded kids eager to lose their troubles and dance until dawn.

From the monstrous syncopated synth opener Do it Well through first single WorkOut, Sugar and Gold’s intention is clear: to get people moving. But the band’s dedication to local scene pride is captured on the Tom Tom Club influenced Neighborhood. “Just as long as you believe in/the neighborhood you live in...down every street/you’ll see people walking to the beat.” And by dub inflected closer Technical Difficulties the band has shown they can stretch out and play infectious pop that skillfully crosses genres and boundaries.

Following the completion of Creme, Sugar and Gold has continued with a series of blistering live shows up and down the West Coast while Phil and Nic have been lending their production skills to a variety of other projects. Most recently, they have been recording and mixing a set of songs (featuring Jeppes of Junior Senior and Jonny Makeup of V.I.P.) for the upcoming Gravy Train!!! album (All the Sweet Stuff out on Cochon Records summer 2007). The bands will be touring together this July with dates to be announced.


Creme LP (Antenna Farm Records 2007)
Workout EP (Antenna Farm Records 2006)