With the 2015 release of his debut effort Patterns, the now, Berlin-based electronic music artist and producer Mark Dobson and his solo recording project Ambassadeurs has received both national and international attention for a sound that draws from house music, hip-hop, dub, trip-hop, jazz and drum ‘n’ bass in a unique fashion. And as a result of his signature sound, Dobson quickly became a go-to producer, with the prolific producer and electronic music artist releasing work through a number of renowned labels including Tru Thoughts, Ninja Tune, Moshi Moshi, Fat Cat, Wah Wah 45s, Universal, and Rough Trade, while heading his own label, Lost Tribe Records and releasing a number of free singles for his rapidly growing fanbase.
Now, if you were frequenting this site towards the end of last year, you may recall that I wrote about “Halos,” a song that was written and recorded during a vacation in the country — and in some way, that vacation deeply influenced the track and its sound, as it was arguably one of the more organic singles the British producer has released to date as swirling electronics, soulful vocal samples and warm bursts of strings and twinkling keys were paired together in a song that seemed to be equally influenced by Peter Gabriel‘s “Shock the Monkey” and “Biko,” as it is by house music as the song managed to be atmospheric and melodic, while possessing a cinematic quality.
Although Dobson is reportedly in the studio working on the highly-anticipated follow-up to 2015’s Pattern, he recently released the “Higher”/”Rapture” single reveals a producer and artist who has boldly pushed his sound into new and interesting directions. “Higher” is a slick and propulsive, house music-leaning production that pairs swirling electronics, gently chopped up vocal samples ethereally floating over dense and cascading layers of synths, skittering and stuttering drum programming and wobbling, tweeter and woofer rocking beats to craft a song that feels simultaneously intimate and cinematic, gorgeous yet hauntingly eerie. “Rapture” may be the most straightforward house music song the now Berlin-based producer has released to date as dense layers arpeggio synth stabs are paired with an eerie melody reminiscent of John Carpenter and Kraftwerk, along with propulsive, cymbal clap-led drum programming and a soulful vocal sample bubbling up and through the mix. Interestingly, sonically speaking “Rapture” reminds me quite of an uptempo version of Snap!‘s “Rhythm Is A Dancer” and Octo Octa‘s “Please Don’t Leave,” “His Kiss,” and “Work Me” which I think will further cement Dobson’s reputation for crafting thoughtful, dance floor-friendly house music.