Published Feb 17, 2014The Paris-born and Montreal-based producer Valentin Stip is a longtime friend of ruminative minimalist Nicolas Jaar, having previously released the Anytime Will Do EP on Jaar's now-defunct Clown & Sunset imprint. Like his mentor, Stip is an introspective beat-maker, reveling in the subtle application of left-field strategies and downtempo patterns. Sigh is his debut full-length, an ambitious collection of songs that deftly unravel as a single lengthy thread.
Refreshingly, Stip's background as a classically-trained pianist is alluded to, as ringing notes are woven in between electronic squiggles within the final moments of "Aletheia" and contemplative melodies unfold languidly throughout the utterly gorgeous title track. The multi-faceted nature of Stip's music-making is arresting: syncopated beats, Eastern melodies, surf guitar, uncanny glitch and those anchoring piano tones are wrapped gracefully into a delicate song cycle that belies the producer's own youth. Sigh is a colossal undertaking, one which showcases the many talents of a fledgling craftsman on the rise. (Other People)