When Huw Stephens played Looking At You the other day on his show on Radio 1, he said, “I love everything this guy has done!” Frequent followers of this blog will know, pretty much the same goes for me in the case of one fine producer that is Ambassadeurs.
Gaining attention in his Brighton days as a bass producer (he currently resides in London), Ambassadeurs was showing off his skills in providing divine electronica that dabbled in R&B, trap, hip-hop, house, and dubstep. He was giving lessons in sampling in his career track M.O.P.E., showing his pop sensibilities in the synth-heavy 80s jam Make Me, creating ethereal spaced out atmospheres in Home and much more…
He sure is one versatile producer. And it shows in his debut LP, Patterns. It is one of the album’s biggest strengths, and perhaps one of its weaknesses, depending on how you look at it.
Patterns opens with Crimson, a dark, melodic, 4 to 4 gem alternating between deep house and electronica. To me, it is one of the best things he has ever done.
If you want him to keep going down that route, I suggest you skip to Somehow. But the album has so much more to offer and a minute into Looking At You, you realize you are about to hear something very, very special.
Ambassadeurs has often been called a left-field producer and for good reason. In My Way, he gives us an absolute nutter of a track that continuously changes time signatures! It is something only he could pull off and it is brilliant! But this album contains some seriously radio-friendly tunes as well and he shines on the three vocal tracks that are nearly proper pop songs.
Then there are tracks like Forever, From You and Can’t You See that his old fans will devour. If you loved him best on his super catchy Make Me, then he has No More, a similarly synth-heavy tune that can easily soundtrack Pretty in Pink. It is one of my favourites. Then he gets chilled on VOID and the aptly placed closing track Tonight.
Some producers create multiple interpretations of one good idea. Ambassadeurs does not keep it safe and journeys from one land to another. Luckily, while doing so, he manages to retain his distinct sound and proves that he is capable of conquering any world that he chooses. He offers what can only be described as an incredibly intelligent, impeccably produced, fairly eclectic and on the whole, a very worthy debut.