Valentin Stip is a frontrunner in a new wave of soulful, intelligent, mid-tempo dance music that’s been gaining popularity over the past couple of years. Dabbling in styles such as instrumental hip-hop, house, and atmospheric drone, Valentin’s sound is as versatile as it is reserved. Having just put out a new album on Nicolas Jaar‘s soon-to-be notorious Other People records, the next year promises to be an exciting one for this experimental young performer.
[LiS] When did you first start making electronic music, and what sparked your interest?
[Valentin Stip] When I arrived in Montreal five years ago, I did not have regular access to a piano. I had gotten accustomed to practicing a few hours a day in high school, and suddenly, I was not playing music at all anymore. As I was going a little bit crazy, my friend Paul suggested that I try Ableton. It took me a few sleepless nights to really understand how everything worked, but from then I just started making music with my computer.
Have you always used the same studio set up or has it changed over time?
My studio set up is always changing. As I am discovering more and more about electronic music, I am constantly experimenting. In the beginning I only used my computer. After that, I started experimenting with a mic, and then a piano. Recently I started building a modular system. I guess I just accumulate a lot of things.
In your atmospheric style of production, how do you gather the sounds to build these textured tracks?
From everywhere possible – texture is all around. I sometimes exploit my lack of technical knowledge to do so. Maybe I learn over time.
Having just put out an EP eight months ago, how long did it take you to create the new album Sigh?
The last EP was finished two years or so ago, and I have been working on the album since then.
Other People is certainly a label that is catching a lot of attention this year as well as breaking boundaries for intelligent dance music. What are your thoughts on being a part of such a collective?
I really like being part of it. I trust them and the fact that I can push my music to unknown places.
How did you come in to working with Other People head honcho Nicolas Jaar?
I have known him for a long time. When I started making music, sometimes I would send him something that I was happy about. One day I sent him “Gravels,” and then it all started.
Are there any collaborative plans in the works?
Hopefully. I have a few projects here and there that maybe one day will see the light of day, and there is also Pavla & Noura, my collaboration with Paul Sara.
With such a psychedelic and complex sound, it goes without saying Valentin Stip would be quite an experience on a large sound system. Are there any tour dates in the near future?
Yes, I am going on tour in February.