Valentin Stip


Other People • 2014

Music journalism can be a horrible git. It always tries to press something into words, tries to describe something that might have happened accidentally and is now expending uncontrolledly into all kinds of directions. In the case of Valentin Stip’s debut, I pretty much feel like a scribbler who can’t possibly be worthy of the subject he’s writing about – no need to mention that this should say enough about the record. So let’s try it (once again) by starting out with the facts, just to be on the safe side: Valentin Stip is from France, has come to live in Montreal, Canada after having spent some time in New York and has, after having come forward with a brilliant EP, just released his debut for Nicolas Jaar’s label Other People The genre? There’re bits of ambient, bits of classical music, not in form of sampled elements but through a piano that he plays. There’s downbeat, gurgling, thumping, chirping and rattling. The rest is atmosphere. No: it’s the other way around. Atmosphere comes first, the rest follows. »Sigh« is crazy on details but you don’t get lost in them. Because all the other elements keep pulling your head out of the grass, keep making your legs heavy while swapping you off your feet at the same time so that there’s nothing left but weightlessness. In fact, »Sigh« might be the only possible title for this very record. Just like a sigh, this album expresses exhaustion, a kind of extreme tiredness. And yet, it finds its way out into the world, as something tiny, becoming one with the air around – free at last.