A trained pianist who grew up playing Rachmaninov and Mozart, Valentin Stip was recently turned on to the compositional possibilities of computers, and in doing so, to electronic music. Having moved to Montreal two years ago, he signed his first EP, Anytime Will Do, in spring 2011 on Nicolas Jaar’s imprint Clown & Sunset. His musical output doesn’t rush to the finish line, embracing space while crafting woolly atmospheres. After a summer tour that will take him to New York, London, and Berlin, he’ll premiere his latest collaborative project later this year.
Born in New York and raised in Santiago, Nicolas Jaar began his production life at the very tender age of 14. Now 22, Jaar has caused a sensation in house music with his cascading piano lines, folk leaning melodies, cool vocals and deep house undertow. Turned on by equal parts afro-beat, Satie and Villalobos, Jaar’s tracks have appeared on Wolf + Lamb, Circus Company and his own label, Clown and Sunset.
The D.C./Berlin-based pair tells thrillingly pulsing electronic stories that are equal parts sultry, humorous, and melancholy. Since releasing their first EP, What I’ve Lost on Bruno Pronsato’s thesongsays imprint in 2009, the refined melody makers have been racking up massive critical praise for the mature lyricism and romantic pop sensibilities they bring to the genre. Their subsequent outings on Ghostly’s Spectral Sound, vanguard Detroit/Berlin upstart Visionquest, and James Murphy’s DFA have only echoed the sentiment. They’ll be supplying their warm, visceral grooves, languorous croons, and bulging synth love for their debut MUTEK @ Piknic performance.
Wolf + Lamb are the charismatic DJ/producers Zev and Gadi. House music maestros and hip-hop horticulturalists, the two draw as much inspiration from each other as they do label cohorts like Deniz Kurtel, Nicolas Jaar, No Regular Play, Soul Clap, Voices of Black, Tanner Ross, Slow Hands, and more.
Wagon Repair label co-founder Mathew Jonson has long been at the forefront of the Canadian scene with his moody, exquisitely layered compositions. His forays into jazz, house, fusion, and techno, along with his thrilling live performances, have brought broad international attention.
Victoria native Colin de la Plante, aka The Mole, has the uncanny ability to drive the most complacent crowds into a frenzy of looped grooves. Since releasing debut album As High as the Sky on Wagon Repair (2008), he has leaped from success to success, injecting fired-up disco grooves into the techno machine.