AMB is one of the hottest names in glitch hop, he is known for his one of a kind producing style, has been flooding the scene with endless top quality music for over 10 years, got down with some of the greatest labels and artists in the game, been touring around Europe, Australia, and USA – he is one of the key figures in setting new directions in the genre. If you’ve heard of glitch hop, you’ve heard of AMB, too! Thank you very much for answering our questions AMB, it is a real honor!
What is your mission with your art?
- To connect. Apart from the healing qualities of self expression, music is a great way to connect. You can preserve any message in a piece of music, which than can be received, replied to, it’s like a dialogue. The main thing is, you realise you are not on your own. You connect. The other magic is creating something together with other people. Still to this day it fascinates me how an idea can be developed in a team. It’s pretty much the same process actually, only viewed from another angle, that of the idea itself.
What is your number one motivation?
- Being an atheist, probably. I believe this is our one and only time here on Earth. I’m fascinated by the beauty of our world, the mind boggling contrasts of our Universe.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
- Books, films, actors, blog posts, music, and going out.
What made you start producing glitch hop music?
- Making tunes in the glitch hop tempo range, genres like trip hop, downtempo, always came easier for me. I started out from those genres, listened to a lot of The Orb, Autechre, The Irresistible Force, Thievery Coorporation, Bonobo. Then came breakbeat and guys like the Chemical Brothers, the Propellerheads blew my mind. I found creating a proper dance music track really challenging. It was something like a code to crack for me, like a quest, to find the dance formula, as it were, that brings people on the dance floor. Then, after a good few years in breakbeat and later house, too, I felt I knew how to make people move. That was when I realised glitch hop had everything to offer that I needed. Broken beats in a tempo that seems to come more naturally for me, it’s not rushed but can still be energetic and pumping – what’s not to like!
You are featured on our latest release, Life’s A Glitch Volume 5, with an awesome track called ‘Placebo Disco’. It is a real pleasure for us to have you on that one. Could you tell us a few words on this tune? Was it something you had in store or did you compose it just for us? And where did the crazy title come from?
- Thanks for having me on the comp, guys. Yes, I made that track for the compilation and because I’m not very good at track names, I put up a little preview on Facebook and asked my fans to come up with name ideas. My favourite one was Placebo Disco. There were a few other great ones though, like Strawberry Avalanche, Stripped Curtains, Jive Turkey, and Recursive Rabbit Hole.
Now we are doing a remix contest to ‘Placebo Disco’ and we’re really excited about it. Have you ever had a remix contest to one of your tracks? What kind of remixes would you love to hear? In your opinion, what makes a remix real great?
- Yes I have, it’s always very exciting. In my opinion a good remix is a good balance between keeping and adding value. I think it’s very important to keep something characteristic of the original but also to take it to a new place, put it in a new context. It’s just my opinion, though, there’s many other approaches to it, I’m sure.
You put out a downtempo tune called ‘Going Down’ on Gravitas Recordings in September. We really loved the vibe of this one. Could you tell us a few words about this release?
- Gravitas Recordings is one of my favourite labels at the moment and I’m stoked to be working with them. Going Down EP shows my more chilled, bit darker side, a little melancholic sound. To me it’s very important to sometimes go deeper with my music, too. My bangers are more about energy, my downtempo is more about thoughts and emotions. I aim for both to be intelligent, though, I want them to tickle your brain, too.
What is your “dream collaboration”? What artist or artists would you love to work with (any genres, dead or alive)? Why them?
- It’s a question of what I can bring to the table, too :) See, I always wondered what Mozart would do in a studio if he lived today, so I wouldn’t mind popping in on a session with him, but I’d probably just watch and learn. I’d love to work with The Orb, or the Irresistible Force, or The Chemical Brothers. Why? They’re all geniuses – who wouldn’t wanna work with geniuses?
Do you remember the very first track you ever made? Do you still have it? What was it like?
- Haha yes I do remember the first track I produced on my own, started off as a loop that took a whole night to make. I started playing around with some sounds, looked up and the Sun had come up. I think it was some weird techno thing and it was most likely horrible.
You got great production, editing, mixing and mastering skills. Where did you learn all this?
- Thanks! I mainly learnt it myself but I also studied Music Technology at the University of West London in the UK, which was actually a life-changing experience to me. I think I grew up as a producer there.
Besides producing music, you also run a music producer school called ‘imPro’ in Budapest, Hungary. Why did you decide to open a school like that? What is the concept? What would you like to achieve with this? How does it feel passing on your knowledge? Have you had any extreme talents there so far? Anybody we might heard of? How can you find time to do the school and keep your career going at the same time?
- Teaching has always been a thing for me, really. I taught drumming when I played the drums, taught English for a number of years in groups and one-on-one, and finally music technology and production. Back at University in London I was blown away the way they got students motivated, and all the assignments really just hit the right spots. I wanted to show the people in Hungary that education can be like that. Since then I’ve worked with SAE on a number of occasions and recently did a workshop with the Ableton User Group in Sydney.
Hungary has lots of talents and many of them have already took one course or another with us. Guys like Mongoose, iamyank, Skrude, One Hand Clap, Chillum Trio, Lank, etc.
Tell us about your music making process please! How does it go? What do you need so you can compose? Any quirks or routines? Tell us some workshop secrets!
- Most often I just need a good coffee in the morning and my gear, really. Audio gear, that is. Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, NI Maschine, Komplete, iZotope plugs – all help me get my creative juices flow!
What was your original plan career-wise? Have you wanted to be a musician since you were a kid? Or did you have other plans before this whole producing thing came up?
- I used to hate studying when I was at high school so pretty much went there just because I had to and I just tried to have a good time. I started music at the age of fifteen, had my first drum kit and band then, and it was the only thing I cared about. It sucked me in, I never felt that intensity towards anything before or since then. I mean, I am interested in marketing, social media, science, psychology – these are all subjects I find very exciting but music has always been the main one.
You recently went on an Australian tour with the Adapted camp. How was it? Did you have a good time there? Were the crowds good? It wasn’t your first time there, was it? Are you going to be a regular there yearly? You’ve been touring around Europe too, was it any different there on the other side of the globe?
- It was my first time down under and I totally absolutely 100% loved it. People there are almost as crazy as I am hhahaa! Good vibes, nice people, great crowd, people like to party – if Melbourne was a little closer I would’ve moved there ages ago. I met a lot of people I had been in contact with for years but wouldn’t have recognised them on the street so it was well overdue. I was lucky enough to work on the shows with Corey from Adapted, he put an excellent tour together. We had some crazy nights, and made good friends. Can’t wait to get back but it probably won’t be before next year.
You are going on a US tour in February. Are you looking forward to it? What are your expectations? Do you prefer playing in the US to playing in Europe maybe? You will also hit Costa Rica’s Envision Festival which is crazy! They got sandy beaches, bonfires, yoga, fire dancing, dolphins, sea turtles there and all that surreal stuff! It’ll be quite an experience… We’re sure you can’t wait!
- Envision will be unreal. Seen some videos from last year, gonna be crazy. I like the US a lot and love playing there. In fact, I’m trying to move there, probably Denver but that’s not a very easy one to pull off. Touring is what keeps me alive and gives fuel for my music so I can’t wait to be on the road again. I’m working with Temporal Talent, those guys are amazing, I can honestly say it’s an honour to be on their agency.
What country would you like to go to play gigs, a country you’ve never been to before? Why there?
- Japan. Never been there, would love to one day.
What do you have to have with you while doing shows? Do you have a rider kind of thing?
- Sure do! I’m relatively easy to please though, apart from the usual technical stuff I only need some food, drinks, and a place to crash out. I love making my tour bag into a kind of survival kit, it’s got everything you need when away for months.
What is the glitch hop / electronic music scene like in Budapest, Hungary?
- Electronic music scene is pretty good I reckon, you’ll find lots of house/ techno events, only not much glitch hop. That’s almost non-existent, I’d say. I hardly ever play in Hungary, which is kinda weird.
If you could give one piece of advice to up and coming young producers, what would that be?
- Don’t listen to anyone.
Thank you so much for taking the time answering our questions we hope you keep hitting us with top notch tunes only you can do! Thank you!
- Thank you guys it’s been an absolute pleasure!