AMB – Interview & “No Regrets” Review

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AMB is an international educator, a multi-genre bass music producer, instrumentalist, and founder of imPro – Budapest School of Music Technology stemming from Budapest, Hungary.  A graduate from the University of West London, he dove into the world of music tech and triggered full-depth creativity at a young age and has been flourishing in multiple fields ever since.  Sharing knowledge through lectures and workshops from classrooms to festivals, he has toured across Europe, Australia, and the USA.  Intrigued by such talent, I reached out to AMB as he reveals his next steps into North America, latest release, No Regrets with Muti Music, his creative process, motivations, future goals, a forthcoming sample pack on Gravitas Recordings, and much more.

AMB Danube

A chat with Ambrus:

Congratulations on your latest release, No Regrets on Muti Music! Congratulations on everything really!  Tell us a little bit about the vision behind this 6-track masterpiece.

Thank you so much! I’ve wanted to work with Muti Music on a full length EP for ages, actually. The idea of ‘No Regrets’ comes from something I’ve felt for a long time, that our mistakes and the negative events that may occur throughout our lives are part of our journey and are essential to how we got where we are. I’m not saying it’s not important to assess and learn from them, but regretting is kind of like trying to take them back, which sounds silly, really. Plus today, when we are presented with an abundance of options every minute, it’s impossible to tell where a road might take you or what outcome going down a path will really have. Intuition is probably more important than ever, at least it is for me. Some decisions or turns that may have not felt good at the time, might get proven right along the way.

You’re flourishing in the bass scene by creating multi-genre experiences within it. Who or what is a major influence? What’s the creative process like?

What drives me is the desire to communicate – that goes back as far as I can remember. I started playing the drums in bands when I was 15 and pretty much never stopped trying to express the way I perceived the world around me. For me, making music has always been about getting something across to people. That is why I’m not that interested in genres really, I’ve done everything from ambient to breakbeat to house to glitch hop, you name it. When I listen to music, my playlist will typically go from classical to trap to 80s pop, it’s kind of all over the place, because what I go after is what the music says to me and not what genre or tempo it was written in.

You live in Hungary, I hear it’s amazing out there! What’s a typical day for you in and outside of the studio?

Yes, I live in the capital, Budapest, arguably one of the most amazing cities in the world. I like to start my day reasonably early, so I’m usually in the studio between 9-10am. I‘ll typically  break for a couple of hours for a stroll across the city on my rollerblades – a great way to relax and get my mind off things. Then it’s some more work until usually quite late, be it making or teaching music.

AMB Pan

Share with us the story of how diving into the world of music production came about.

My friend asked me in first grade in high school if I wanted to pop over to his and make some music. He had a bad, out of tune guitar, I didn’t have a drum kit, and neither of us played any instruments, so I said yes. I was drumming away on the lid of some turntables, must’ve been horrific to listen to but to us it was absolutely magical. I had the strong impression that we were actually having a conversation through music. It’s something I can’t seem to or want to stop doing since then. A year later I was playing Jimi Hendrix covers in a band, a few years later I was making music on very basic software called ‘tracker’ on the family computer. Then we founded Chi Recordings and started releasing music. Then at one point I moved to London and some years later I graduated at the University of West London on the Music/ Multimedia Tech Specialist Course.

You’re also an Ableton instructor and founder of imPro – Budapest School of Music Technology ( only Ableton Certified Training Centre in Eastern Europe ), amazing! When and how did this shape up?  In which ways do you wish to further the vision in teaching?

Studying at UWL blew me away and made me think that if I ever move back to Budapest, I’ll wanna teach music to be able to show people how super cool and efficient music tech education can be. Then later, when I did move back home, I sat down in a cafe and tried to put together a private tutoring plan or class of some sort – one idea followed the other and at one point I went: “I’m actually building a school, I think.” Back then I was teaching English too, so it was a very busy period. A year later, in 2010, imPro School opened and I have been really fortunate with it – it’s been running with a full house ever since. In the first six months I’d teach English from 8am until the evening, then run into my school and teach classes or supervise whenever someone else was teaching until 9pm. First it was just a classroom, then later an office, then I hired a personal assistant, and so the crew started to grow. We’re still a small operation but we have a big and strong community. It’s clearly the best thing I’ve done in my life and I couldn’t be more grateful about how it all turned out.

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Your website is super clean (http://ambmusic.net/); it’s presented very professionally and easy to navigate. Did you design it?

Thanks so much, yes I did! I think often in this business you have no choice but to sit down and learn something from scratch, which is what happened when I started building my website.

What is a constant motivation?

Apart from people, and going out, it’s TV shows – dramas and British comedies mainly. I love to follow the development of real, three-dimensional characters, like in Breaking Bad, for instance, when you start realising the goodie is actually a baddie. I’ve recently watched The Shield, that was pretty awesome, too, kinda similar to The Wire. I feel that being confronted with dilemmas from the comfort of your sofa is great because you can observe your reaction in a quiet and controlled environment. If I find the theme tune very inspiring, I’ll sometimes go ahead and make a bootleg out of it, like I did with Game of Thrones, True Detective, and Broadchurch. I’m a big fan of Ricky Gervais and comedies like The Office, Extras, Peep Show, Mighty Boosh, Darkplace, Psychoville etc. Humour is one of the most important thing in my life.

What’s your philosophy behind technical aspects of music production?

I remember back in the day I produced finished, full-length songs entirely in Sound Forge, which is a sound editing software, and is in no way meant for making full tracks. Still, I was absolutely happy and didn’t feel my toolbox was lacking anything. In fact, the limitation was great for my creativity. For many years I had pretty shitty audio gear but I only started to care after I had some money to spend on it. Now I have one or two really cool controllers that I love but I personally think that being a songwriter outweighs the significance of the equipment you have. The drive to tell a story finds a way and will use whatever tools you have at your disposal.

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You’re a Mastering Engineer. What’s that like?

It’s where I can really enjoy the benefits of cleaning up without actually having to move. It’s a very rewarding activity that calms my nerves too, and I love how every small step brings you closer to the final, polished, product.

Are you currently working on any new projects?

Yes, I’m working on some new music, a sample pack of 200 sounds that’s out on Gravitas in a couple weeks, and an online course in mastering in the future.

AMB’s remix of CloZee’s “Revolution” – Out now on Gravitas Recordings

What are some of your goals for the year?

Well, the main event this year for me is moving to the US. Last year I spent 6 months stateside, I really enjoy it there. Even though my school is the best thing I’ve done so far, I’m leaving it in good hands and I’m hungry for new challenges. I want to figure out what’s next for me so I’m keen to see what LA brings out of me.

What are some of your goals in the music industry?

I’d like to have a big studio with drums and some guitars at some point. I would like to work on music for film. I want to keep doing what I love and also collaborate more.

Where do you see the “EDM scene” going?

I’m not sure where it’s going but I’m hoping it will come to its senses at one point in the not so distant future. I feel that, culturally speaking, the music scene has become much less interesting, kind of flat, repetitive, with not much innovation. People will happily say they finished this or that song in two hours, and people will cheer along with them, but to me that doesn’t sound great. I believe that a good piece of art that holds weight takes time and thought.

AMB Gangsta

You’re quite the collaborator.  Which artist do you feel has been the most interesting working with? Why?

To be honest, apart from the remixes I’ve made, I haven’t done an awful lot of proper, sitting-in-the-same-room kinda collabs. We did have a formation for a couple of years with my friend Fine Cut Bodies, called Biscuit Reality, that was heaps of fun. It’s really interesting to see other people’s approach to making music. The right combination of collaborators can achieve a lot more than just one individual on its own, so I definitely want to do more of that.

What do you prefer – continual creation or touring? Or a combination of both?

Definitely a balance of the two.

What are some of your other hobbies?

Love going out with friends, and reading.

‘No Regrets’

Art: Mugwort Designs ; No Regrets EP [ Muti Music ]

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No Regrets is an innovative, quality, and groundbreaking bass release consisting of 6 tracks: “Set in Stone”, “No Regrets”, “Shadows”, “Creeky”, “Way Up”, and “Tales”.  Amalgamating both digital and analog sounds, percussive leads, punchy beats, mind-bending synth soundscapes, and a fresh touch of sporadic minimal vocalizations, he fuels an overall thematic and eclectic vibe through trap, psychedelic, and downtempo atmospheres.  As he paints away a masterpiece through sound, he creates such great suspense and mystery leaving the listener in a state of puzzlement and aftermath of pure joy.  A fresh taste of intuitive feels, he tells a story of having no regrets and the importance of acknowledging life’s happenings as part of growth – letting it be a part of the rhythmic journey we call life.

“Set in Stone” sets the theme of the album as a chilltrap and mysterious vibe ignites through quality 808’s, vocal samples, ethereal drones, illuminating hi hats, and mind boggling bass wobbles. It’s a set vision that has been made in order to further progress in the self.  Providing rhythmic balance, percussive leads, and crescendo-ing effects equal composition of growth.

“No Regrets”soothes in through chiming, melodic key instrumentation which reveal a sense of freedom as he soon twists up the take on the track by revealing glitch hop feels.  AMB creates intuitively layered depths which blend creatively together and thus continues to flourish through solid doses of bassline triggers.  Alleviating chants can be felt in the background as minimalist vocals create a high standing viewpoint as more bass leads the journey.

“Shadows” enters the passage with punchy beats, and thematic percussive innovation. “Sometimes the things that you see in the shadows, are more than just shadows.”  Sample vocals are sporadically heard throughout the original mix as ethereal escapes formulate through an amalgamation of digital and analog gestures.  Our shadows will always be there as it’s a part of us and when faced with a challenge, we must work with it and bring light to it by full blast creative flow – it’s a transcendence.

“Creeky” is a cinematic journey yet it’s fresh mixture of dope elevation which lead the listener into otherworldly atmospheres.  Crescendos and doses of glitch and bass shake up a gangsta feel as creative beats effectively will grasp your attention.  Prepare to expect the unexpected as this downtempo approach still measures a state of heavy balance through sporadic vocalizations which bring about a great mystery.

“Way Up” is an uplifting mood as the progression through set in stone remains, it’s a feeling of remaining true to your sound and a feeling you get when you let go. Minimalist vocalizations are reflective of a joyhop, it’s an aftermath of removal of fear.  AMB pushes through accomplished tones, steady beats, lysergic synth feels, and brilliantly reflects a master composer of sound.

“Tales” is storytelling through European vocalization.  A lively melody captures the essence, textures create solidity, and amplitude creates effective resonance.  He provides a vivid, imaginative narrative through sound as synth magic sinks in through remembrance ultimately leaving one in a state of wonder.

Stay connected with AMB:

http://ambmusic.net/

https://soundcloud.com/amb

https://ambmusic.bandcamp.com/album/no-regrets

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