By: Natty Morrison
If you happen to catch him performing live, the first thing you’ll probably notice about The Polish Ambassador is his odd choice in onstage attire. Donning a yellow and white ski suit and a pair of dark tinted aviators, the Oakland artist is hard to miss. That’s true, of course, until he starts the set. At that point, he might as well be hiding behind a silk curtain: you won’t be paying attention to anything but the music. Intricate and full of deep colors, The Polish Ambassador (aka David Sugalski) is determined to craft a soundscape more picturesque than any of his contemporaries. Transcending mood and genre, he exhibits his artist prowess to the fullest with his new full-length release Future, Sex, Computers.
In a genre where the status quo is to crank the low-end, the opener, “Quantum Peeps,” sounds less like a bass blast and more like a flurry of beeps. Glitch, electro, hip-hop and funk all get play here, but instead of sounding like a messy collage, Sugalski finds away to make it all work. This is pure head-nod stuff, but by the time he gets to “Save, Develop, Protect” a searing emotional quality starts to shine through. A lot of that comes from purely from his musicianship. Sugalski is a master of composition, and where some of his peers would be content with knob twiddling, he pushes for something more in his progressions.
The real standouts are the chiller cuts, like “Interdimensional Lounge Music.” Slow moving, but full of color, this song has some of the most interesting chord progressions out today. Once he’s set up his backdrop, that’s when things really get interesting. Sugalski uses these modest compositions as a canvas, spraying blips, beeps, samples, drum breaks and disconnected vocal lines across the open spaces. In the world of overdoing it, Sugalski knows how to hold back.
Coming from the DIY school, Sugalski’s sixth album is his first with major label support. Recently signed to electronic music powerhouse 1320 Records, The Polish Ambassador is poised to make a splash with major-weight distribution. Additionally, the 1320 rep is putting Sugalski on a lot more bills across the country.
All in all, Future, Sex, Computers is a masterful compilation because it never shouts, but always keeps your attention. Sugalski is simply miles ahead of the electro crowd, and refuses to slip into any of the same pitfalls similar DJs might face. You know what? Forget what I said. Sugalski’s not a DJ. He’s a painter, painting with tiny sounds.
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