Polish Ambassador looking to lay some beats down at the Sidecar
December 22, 2011
David Sugalski, who is known to fans as the Polish Ambassador, said he was drawn to the computerized and remixed beats of hip hop while in his teens.
"I started getting into hip hop because I didn’t see myself as gifted instrumentalist or anything, but I did feel I had a certain ear for music and had a technical side I could dive into," Sugalski told The Park Record during a phone interview from Oakland, Calif. "The idea of being a musician using computers was super appealing to me, so I sort of dove into a lot of sample-based and drum machine-based music, the core elements of hip hop."
The Polish Ambassador will lay down some mixes at the Sidecar, 333 Main St., on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
Just because Sugalski started creating his own music on computers, didn’t mean Sugalski shunned instrument-driven music altogether.
"Growing up I had an older brother who was into certain music and I followed a bit of what he was feeding to me," he said. "Early on I was into Beastie Boys and OutKast and a lot of underground tunes and classic rock."
The whole computer remixing actually began as a hobby and blossomed into something new.
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"For a while, I didn’t know I would be able make it a career, but it feels like I’m able to do that now," he said. "I’m excited because it allows me to take in all this different music and run my filter through it and then it comes out of me in unique ways."
Also, the reception Sugalski gets from fans on the Internet and in person adds fuel to his creative fire.
"All that is super fulfilling for me," he said. "This is something I would like to continue doing for a long time."
Musical ideas can start anywhere, Sugalski said.
"They can begin with me opening up some new software and starting off nothing but a single kick drum and building up a full drum set and then weaving in bass from that and adding layers on top of that," he said. "Other times I’ll hear a new song by Bon Iver or think back to an old George Michael song I really dug and remix them.
"At this point, remixing for me is just as much a part of me as making original tracks, inasmuch as remixes are original tracks and I just layer the vocal melody or the main guitar riff on top of the track," he said.
Sugalski’s motto is "No genre left behind," meaning he will try to create new soundscapes with any kind of music, be it rock, jazz, soul, folk or traditional.
Furthermore, he constantly looks for new styles he can manipulate. But sometimes finding a new style is a challenge in this day of modern technology.
"I think, maybe, there is a new genre out there that is constantly evolving," he said. "It may be country music infused with glitch hop."
Glitch hop is a form of electronic music that features sounds such as CD skipping, air hum and clicks that are usually edited out of finished recordings, he said.
With all the remixing possibilities out there, Sugalski relies on his fans to help him decide when a song is ready to record.
"I’ll bring stuff out on the road with me and, based on the reactions, I’ll tweak it or leave it as it is," he said. "Another way, I’ll know when something is good is that the something will come from an unspoken place and tell me or I’ll feel that the track is a winner and I’ll have to put it on an album."
Still, Sugalski has one specific goal for his creations.
"Music seems to be evolving on a year-to-year basis, so rather than focusing on going after an independent genre, I would like to remove the idea of genre and go forth with an experimental approach," he said. "That idea inspires me and feeds my desire as a human being.
"As humans, we want things to evolve, and for me to put my music out and have it go through different changes is super exciting for me."
In the meantime, Sugalski is content in taking his Polish Ambassador act on the road.
"I have a backpack and all my gear fits in it and I can run eight channels off of the controller and that makes things flexible," he said.
"Eventually, I would like the Polish Ambassador show to not only include myself and I would like add other elements like more video footage of the area and fans to include in that evening’s show," he said.
The Polish Ambassador, also known as David Sugalski, will play his remixes and other beats at the Sidecar, 333 Main St., on Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 9 p.m. Admission is $10. For more information, visit http://www.thepolishambassador.com