Ace Patterson is a double agent. A white-collar employee by day hacking away at spreadsheets, but come nighttime he transforms into Call Me Ace. Occasionally his Jamaican side emerges in the form of his double-entendred alter-ego High Grade. Balancing all these different versions of himself is a common theme in his music. An astonishingly prolific writer, Ace’s brand new record “Out Of Office” is his THIRD album released during the pandemic. Where does the man find the time?
Covering a myriad of socio-cultural topics drawn from his own life experiences, “Out Of Office” addresses the lack of diversity and equity in the workplace, mental health problems, the first-generation immigrant’s dilemma and the challenges of building generational wealth. The cutting first line of the opening track says it all:
Less than 8 percent get the job
And out of that
3 percent of ‘em sort of look like me
2 percent from the same class as me
Met 1 of ‘em that could rap like me
But outside of that
It really don’t feel all of that inclusive
Don’t see the numbers but I hear excuses
Black plight due to micro abuses
They swept up well, huh?
The instrumental arrangement and lyrical theme from “In the Office” is reprised two more times throughout on “Monday Morning” and “Out Of Office”, perhaps serving as a tacit reminder of the repetitive daily routines that can make life feel a bit like Groundhog Day. Overall the production on this album is polished and mature, tastefully employing (royalty-free) vintage soul samples and laid back beats to achieve a rich sound generally only heard on major label records. It’s no wonder Ace has already scored himself multiple syncs off the record in advance of the official release, with many more surely to come. Don’t sleep on this one!