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vibble presents: Drippin signature sounds

We meet Drippin at his friends’ studio in Oslo, the day after a rain soaked performance in the woods of one of Oslo’s parks. The weather has turned, the sun is shining outside while we’re getting a tour of the dark, old building’s other residents while we make our way to the studio.

 

Drippin speaks to us about his early days, “growing up I really didn’t like music that much - I didn’t really listen to music.” He talks about getting into death metal and Marilyn Manson type music in middle school, used as a tool for teenage rebellion, like many youths before and after him. Later, when he got into rap, especially the chopped and screwed kind he was hungry for new music and overwhelmed by how much of it was available to him, “just a click away,” from peer to peer file sharing services like Limewire and Kazaa.

Drippin’s career as a DJ started out in a legendary night club in Stavanger, “I started DJing at this club called Sting. At the time it was kind of like a gay club, but it wasn’t defined as a gay club, but it was the place to be if you were gay. It’s like an institution, it’s been there forever, it’s been there since the 60’s or 70’s as a jazz club.” Sting was the place you’d want to play if you wanted to play electronic music in Stavanger, and served as a perfect outlet for a young and ambitious Drippin to play out all the music he’d discovered, “it felt like the next step I guess.” Sting has been the home of many of Stavangers great DJ’s, and has a storied history as a cultural hub for weirdos, with literature, music and food being central to its identity. They more or less introduced garlic as an ingredient to Stavanger and were the home of Norway’s first sound system, Troubletone Soundsystem. This in turn made it a natural home for the underground clubbing scene in Stavanger.

Although he was a household name in Stavanger for many years, he didn’t start producing seriously until he moved to Bergen to go to school. Again he tells us it was the natural next step for him. The line of thought being, “if I want to have gigs DJ I probably need to do the next step again, and if I want to take this further I should just start producing.” After being a DJ for so long, it felt natural to Drippin to start producing, feeling inspired by all the music he’d been playing and wanting to put a spin on it himself was important factors in the decision to start producing. As he’s been a DJ for such a long time, his sets has changed a lot over the years. He remarks that “in the beginning, I didn’t really spend any time on how it looked.” That’s changed in recent years. Now Drippin’s performances are accompanied by visuals made by artist Kyselina. The way Drippin describes his performances may just as well apply to the art that accompanies his performances these days, “I guess now it’s like, dark and metallic, but also organic and soft, but it’s all about these like push and pull moments, like contrasts, I guess. Impacts, between the soft and/or the organic and the really hard stuff.”

Early on, Drippin was enlisted to create a sound pack for Vibble. He tells us that creating sounds is a big part of his process, it’s prep work, “You don’t have to start from scratch when you produce because you already have something that’s you in it. It’s like a signature thing, I guess.” It also provides a uniqueness to his productions, when he’s using sounds he created himself. Talking about the sounds in the Vibble sound pack he says that “these are the sounds I use when I produce, I just throw them into the project, to make it sound like me.” Having made a large amount of sounds in preparation for his next project, creating the sound pack was more a question of curation than creation. He adds, laughing that he’s already used lots of these sounds in his new release, saying, “it might sound weird now because it’s in the pack, so it sounds like I’m just playing the fucking app or something.” The goal of his next project and the sounds he’s created for this new project, is to make music that sounds like a living, breathing, malleable thing, he says.

"It sounds like it’s alive, and that’s also something that I really strive for with music now.

One of the most interesting things, especially for the nerds out there, is the process and day-to-day routines of their favorite artists. We had Drippin go into detail on how he spends his day, when he’s at home in Bergen and working. “I usually start my day really early. I usually wake up at six or seven, sometimes even before that. It depends on what time zone I’m living in. It’s not that I don’t sleep, I just shift my day so I wake up really early so I can actually have some daylight in my life, you know. If I slept all day and then went to the studio and then went to bed it would be all darkness, because when you live in Norway, that’s crushing. So I wake up at seven usually, and go to the studio, I usually walk to the studio. When I was at my old studio, I had to go over the mountain, to go to the studio. It was a nice trip every day, to walk and see the whole city, the whole of Bergen, and have a half an hour for yourself just to think and be outside. Now I have a studio in the other end of town, so I don’t need to go over the mountain, but I go around this water where and park where I live, so it’s still nice. There’s still a nice 30 minutes trip and it gets you to reflect on what you’re going to do with your day, almost like a prep talk, like I’m going to finish this and I have to do this, and stuff like that. It’s good to organize yourself. Then I get to the studio and I try to start work right away. I don’t have internet, so I just sit down and work and I eat and then I work, usually for eight hours. In the studio I don’t have a chair, I have a stool because I don’t want to be too comfortable working, if I’m too comfortable I’m going to sit too long with the music I’m working on, so I usually stand and walk around. Sometimes I sit on the stool and sometimes I just stand, or I sit on the floor or whatever. I don’t want to be too complacent, you know. It’s really important to not be too comfortable I think, if you’re doing creative stuff. Then I go home, and it’s the same trip, reflect, listen to your demos, and then it’s the next day.” He doesn’t have the time or energy to listen to new music when he’s working this way. He tells us he tries to catch up on his friends’ new music when he’s travelling, but apart from that his listening habits are defined by his own demos. He is currently listening to a lot of Amnesia Scanner, though. He describes their music as “really simple ideas, but solved in a really complex way.” Their music also mirrors what he is trying to accomplish in his own music, “It sounds like it’s alive, and that’s also something that I really strive for with music now and something I try to get better at is making it sound like it’s actually living and breathing. It’s the hardest challenge when you make music I think, for me at least is to get the synth moving and how it deteriorates, and everything is loose and alive. That’s the hardest challenge, and that’s something that I think I haven’t achieved with the music that I’ve already released, but something that I’m working towards.”

It’s been two years since Drippin released the acclaimed Silver Cloak on Lit City Trax, and now he’s finally ready with new material. In the meantime he’s primarily been working on a collaboration with Norwegian singer Nils Bech and his new album. “He approached me when I was in Oslo, because he wanted me to remix one of his songs from his previous album, and I was starting to reject every remix offer I got, because I didn’t want to do any more of them. I told him no, but I mean we can just make a track, because that’s so much easier for me to do. And then I sent him stuff and he started to record in Oslo. Then he said, maybe I should make an EP out of this and he flew me over to Oslo and we worked with this other guy, Øyvind Mathisen in his studio, and from there on it’s just more trips, more trips and the project got bigger and bigger and in the end it was an album, and everything is made just from us three in the room, no emails. It was an intense and year long process.” Nils Bech’s idea for the album was based around baroque music, says Drippin. He wanted an emphasis on voice and voice modulation and how you can’t tell the difference between voice and synth, and a real voice and autotune and synths. “Everything is weaved together to one big epic, dramatic piece of music. He wanted some more club sounds than he had before, that’s why he got in touch with me. So it ended up being dramatic club music, I guess.”