Soon after arriving and setting up camp Bissccut and I made out way over to the main stage to check out one of the opening acts of the festival, The Polish Ambassador. Now I was not too familiar with the Polish Ambassador before his set, but I have to say, he blew me away. His set was full of amazing live remixes that were very much hip-hop inspired. Some of our favorite of songs from his set were his remix of Warren G and Nate Dogg’s Regulate, his remix of ATLiens by Outkast, and his remix of Billie Jean by Michael Jackson. The Polish Ambassador brought the noise with a set packed with hard-hitting tracks, and really set the bar high for the rest of the festival. Check out the videos of his set, and our exclusive back stage interview with the Polish Ambassador below.
West Coast Leak: To start it off, we got to ask, what’s with the jump suit?
Polish Ambassador: Well the jumpsuit is actually a find in Chicago Illinois, it came from a thrift store and they marked it at like fifteen bucks or something, and I brought it up to the register and was like, who’s going to buy this for fifteen bucks, you know? I’ll give you $3.99 and they were like, sold. Look at the fuckin’ thing.
WCL: Dude it’s awesome. It’s so unique. Of all the people I’ve watched I have never seen anyone in a jump suit.
PA: It’s totally ridiculously awesome but yeah, it’s an amazing garment and you can’t find it anywhere. It’s got a tag on it and everything and it’s from like 1976. You know they have maybe like one production run and nobody bought them so they closed up shop and there’s a few around the world floating around, and I managed to pick up one of them.
WCL: Nice, so I noticed tonight that you were playing a lot of hip-hop remixes in your set, is hip-hop a big influence to you and your music?
PA: Yeah definitely, an influence, growing up, like you guys were saying earlier, Outkast, I mean I threw in probably like three or four Outkast samples, they were a big influence for me. I like hip hop that changes it up quite a bit because you will notice in my sets that I don’t stick with one drum line or bass line for too long. It’s pretty non-repetitive you know, so that stems from albums like Paul’s Boutique where you know they bring in lots of different samples and they kind of create this collage of sounds that’s not so formulaic and not so beat and sample driven — I mean, it is beat and sample driven, but there is just a lot of variety. Its more focused on like, what can we do? What kind of bass line can we throw in here all of sudden and like, you know, just take the listener out of what they think is coming next. You just got to keep the flow going.
WCL: So do you make all those yourself? All of your drum and baselines?
PA: Everything you heard tonight was completely 100% original except for obviously the acapellas.
WCL: What kind of programs do you use to produce?
PA: I produce in a program called Sonar and I sort of re-wire Ableton into Sonar. I work with Ableton when I work with loops and then I send all those into Sonar. But everything is really sequenced in Sonar.
WCL: One of the things I noticed when I was checking out your stuff, was that especially on your last album, you kind of have a fascination with science and technology. Where does that come from?
PA: Yeah you know, I am a nerd, I’m just a nerd at heart, I grew up around computers and I was doing web design stuff before I actually started doing music. So I’ve always been a computer geek, and like, really into Sifi and stuff like that, so yeah. Everything that I’m about is sort of like outer space
WCL: So you also play under the alias, Ample Mammal?
PA: Yeah, Ample Mammal.
WCL: Do you ever tour uner that name? Could you tell us a little about that?
PA: Yeah for the diehards that come out, they recognize that I play some Ample Mammal stuff like that, I probably throw in like one or two tracks.
PA: Yeah today, and yeah I’ve done many tours with that alias, it doesn’t have nearly as much steam as the Polish Ambassador so, it’s a little more glitch and hip hop oriented, really the emphasis with that alias is slower tempos. I don’t want to call it dubstep but it takes elements of dubstep and grime and merges it with electro. It has tempo ranges from about 70 bpm to around 95 or 100. And then The Ambassador is more like, anything goes with The Ambassador. I do slower stuff around 70 bpm but then I go all the way up to like hard electro house around 130 bpm.
WCL: And that’s what a lot of people like about you. Let’s talk about your last album, what is your favorite track off of it?
PA: You know, of course the diplomatic answer is to say that I love them all, and I do, actually. There is something about every track that I love; otherwise, it wouldn’t be on the album. Because you know the stuff that you hear on all of my albums is a very small fraction of what I actually have, so it has to be something that’s sort of really speaks to me to get on the album. My favorite track is the last track because it started off as a remix that I sort of just wanted to play live, the track is called, “Dismantling Earth Based Authorities by Satellite.” It started off as a remix, it was actually an “In Your Eyes” Peter Gabriel mix, and it’s a slower tempo track so I don’t get to play it that often. I shouldn’t say that, I don’t choose to play it often because you know I guess when I play big festivals like this, you want hard hitting stuff, I mean I shouldn’t say hard hitting, it’s just a slower track. And with the right crowd it can work wonders and it can blow your fucking mind. So it’s like glitched up Peter Gabriel, In Your Eyes, over this really psychedelic down tempo beat. So it’s actually really awesome. It’s probably my own thing that I don’t play it, people would actually probably really like it. There is just something in me that’s either nervous or scared for me to play it.
WCL: This festival has an amazing atmosphere. What do you enjoy about what 1320 is doing here?
PA: 1320 is putting together a magical weekend you know, if you look at the line-up it’s really really just the greatest of cats. A lot of people are coming together that I would say are really pushing the boundaries of electronic music. There is a very unique feel to this weekend, and it’s like their bringing real artists, there not bring mass commodified music just like other festivals do. At least for me, when I look at the lineup I see it and I’m like wow, I’m a fan of just about everybody on this lineup, it’s great.
WCL: Yeah it is great. So just to finish it up, what new of projects can you tell us about, what can fans look forward to in the future?
Yeah I’m doing another ample Mammal EP and I am talking to a few labels about who wants to release that. And that’s probably going to come out this winter. Then I’m also doing a fall tour with Mochi Pet who is, if you’re not familiar, like a glitch crunk, I mean, he plays a lot of different music, I guess I know him for glitchy crunky, bass heavy, you know, really dope music. And it’s called “Crunky in your Wunky” because he wears a dinosaur suit and I wear my ones-y. It’s a big party, should be lots of fun.