29.06.2011, Words by dummymag

Stream Valentin Stip's EP of synthetic orchestras being pulled apart

Valentin Stip is the 19 year old producer behind the next release on Nicolas Jaar’s Clown And Sunset label. With a background in classical music, having studied the piano for many years, his productions are infused with a broken grandness, what sounds like scraps of orchestras being jumbled up and put back together piece by carefully treated piece. The tempo is steady, the fragmentation is given space to breathe, much in the vein of Mount Kimbie’s album. The overall impression is not necessarily of something complete – it’s not meant to sound like that anyway – but of someone with good ideas taking their first, promising, step. You can stream his debut release ‘Anytime Will Do’ below, and read the questions he answered for us via email from his home in Montreal, before the record comes out next week, and he plays London supporting Nicolas Jaar next month.

CS006 Valentin Stip – Anytime Will Do EP by Clown and Sunset

You started off making classical music. How did switching to more electronic based compositions come about?

I wasn’t actually making classical music. I studied the piano for a long time and on the way I did write some pieces for piano but I really got into composition about a year and a half ago. When I
started producing, I was making electro, which was kind of an antithesis to classical, I thought. But the transition from the piano to electronic music in general happened when I left for Montreal and had to leave my piano behind in New York. I missed expressing myself musically, and I thought it had a bad effect on my life as a whole, so I started using Ableton. I only started making the music that I make now about a year ago though.

Does your classical training still have a strong influence?

Very. I always try to work towards a point where the music has a life of its own. That is one of the lessons I learned from classical music, it’s that the possibilities of expression and emotion are great. You’re in the unexpected, most of the time, and that’s what makes you surrender to the harmonic path. It’s really difficult to attain that point in electronic music. But with all the abilities that electronic music offers, I think there must be another way, maybe more hybrid.

You seem to have grown up and lived in quite a few different places – Paris, New York, Montreal – how do you think this has informed your music?

I hope to have acquired an open mind to people in general, in the world. I think that moving a lot has helped me understand people a little better. Nowadays, people don’t try to understand each other on a world scale, each has their own ideas, and that’s the only thing that counts. I think it’s very sad that people define their existence with ideas. I mean, it’s good that people have their own ideas, but it shouldn’t get in the way of getting along with people who have different ones. That’s why I love music so much. Through harmony, you convey an abstract idea that everybody can “adapt” and reflect on in their own way.

How did you get involved with Clown & Sunset?

I knew Nico in high school and we talked quite a few times during those years. When I started producing stuff that I was confident about, I sent them to Nico, since his point of view on the question was very valuable, of course. With time, by growing up and discovering more stuff with electronic music, the tracks that I was making started interesting Nico more, and slowly, the EP was put together.

Where do the ideas for your songs come from?

I don’t really have an idea before I start a song or while I make a song. I just take it from inside and try and express what I feel is beautiful. To me, it feels like trying to portray inner beauty in an
audible way, if that makes any sense… Sometimes, it takes some time and only one element for the song to go from pleasing me, to making me cry. It’s very hard sometimes.

Do you play live at the moment? If so, how do you find that?

I have just started playing live. It was difficult at first because opening up the structure of tracks that I had been working on for a while was harder than I thought. But Nico was very helpful in showing me how you can free everything up in a live set, and how your improvisation comes into play. I think that the live set is still very young and will hopefully grow more confident and mature as things go on, but I am happy and surprised with it. 🙂

What are you up to in the near future?

I am still making tracks, not necessarily in the same style but I am pushing my music certain ways. There are certain things that I want to do on a personal level with my music, but I also want to make music with other people. I have started working on different projects with friends of mine and there are still many things that I want to do that I haven’t done. I try and consider the EP as a small “premier pas” in what I want to do with music. I hope to take many more.

Clown And Sunset will release Valentin Stip’s ‘Anytime Will Do’ EP on 4th July 2011

Buy here.

Valentin Stip will also support Nicolas Jaar at Fabric on 27th and 28th of July 2011

Tickets here.

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