Full EP: Ambassadeurs – Alone in the Light
Once again pushing the boundaries of several genres at once, instrumental hip-hop producer Ambassadeurs surprised us all again when he released his second EP in less than two months. Like its predecessor, Trouble, the Alone in the Light EP presents an intricate mixture of eccentric synth choices, blissful vocals, and wonky hip hop beats. The entire EP flows like a groovy R&B remix might, resurrecting what feels like the entirety of a song, with new, constantly changing elements capable of melting even the coldest of hearts.
Of all of these elements, it’s the vocal samples that are the first to entice the ear. By selectively splicing in these long-lost musical artifacts, Ambassadeurs manage to immediately encrypt within the song not just the soul of the vocals, but the soul of the listener as well. While I’m sure part of this effect is based on the original lifeblood of the vocal tracks, the mixing and arrangement skills of Ambassadeurs is not to be underestimated. At the heart of the EP is a labyrinth of tangled synthesis that beats gently at times, and energetically at others. Throughout each track, the warmth of these synth lines can be found pumping energy into parts that would otherwise be lifeless. I was glad to hear elements like the slowly arpeggiated bass lines of “Sparks” that kept the song moving, as well as the side-chained bass track of “Home”, which compliment the vocal samples of the track very well.
But if the vocals are the soul—and the synths the heart—the brain of this EP would definitely be the percussion. As with most offerings from Ambassadeurs, sprinkles of wood blocks, jittery high-hats and water drops line the sides of the track, creating some of the most intricate rhythms any grove will allow. If you’re looking for a more varied drum pallet than the one Ambassadeurs uses, chances are, you wont have much luck finding it.
In all, this is definitely one of my favorite releases of the year, without any doubt as to why. If groovy instrumental hip-hop is your thing—or you just like wondering in amazement as you listen to someone circumnavigate the laws of music—you definitely want to give this EP a listen.