With a deep love for music since a young age, IPI, who has both Argentinian and German roots, immersed himself in playing various instruments.
Photo credit: IPI – Facebook
Inspired by his parents’ love for rock ‘n roll, during his teenage years, IPI ventured into producing rap music and served as a DJ for the band ‘Manyaks.’ However, his musical journey took a significant turn in 1994 when he discovered the captivating realms of techno and house music through a HR3 Clubnight tape of Sven Väth.
From that point on, IPI’s life revolved around these genres. He started collecting and curating records, becoming a resident DJ at the renowned ‘Lustundfreu.de’ parties at Gewölbe, Cologne, from 2005 to 2012.
EG had the chance to have a conversation with IPI to talk about his inspiration and creative process behind his EP ‘Grande Marée,’ as well as the significance of groove and emotion in his music, along with his upcoming projects and endeavors.
EG: Hi IPI, welcome to EG! Where are you right now?
IPI: Hey, thank you so much for having me. I am in my studio in Cologne right now, working on some upcoming projects.
EG: Ahead of the release of your ‘Grande Marée’ EP on Beats On Time, can you share the inspiration and creative process behind it?
IPI: Usually, I find inspiration by experimenting with my instruments or plugins until I get that special feeling that motivates me. It could be a catchy groove or a simple sound that ignites my creativity. In the case of ‘Grande Marée,’ it was the groove line at the beginning of the track that got me going. Then, I found a nice vocal to which I added some effects, and as usual, the rest came together quickly in the flow. Once I have a solid groove and a deep element that resonates with me, the ideas come naturally.
EG: As a half-Argentinian, half-German artist, how does your cultural background influence your approach to music production, and can we expect to hear those influences in the upcoming EP?
IPI: That’s difficult to say because ultimately, music is about personal taste. Perhaps my cultural background has shaped my taste in music throughout my life, but I wouldn’t say it directly influences my approach to music production. It seems like it hasn’t had much influence on me, otherwise, I would be making Cumbia and German Schlager Musik. My parents were huge Rock ‘n’ Roll fans, and I grew up with that music. I believe that has had a greater impact on my musical taste than my cultural background.
EG: Your debut EP with Beats On Time features edgy jams with a touch of the future and a hint of the past. Can you explain how you blend these elements to create a distinctive sound?
IPI: To be honest, I’m not quite sure what that means, but it sounds pretty good. To me, groove and emotion are the most important elements of a good track. My approach to creating music is minimalistic, as I prefer not to overload the tracks with too many elements. It’s important for me to choose the ingredients wisely and give each element enough space to breathe and develop.
“Once I have a solid groove and a deep element that resonates with me, the ideas come naturally”
EG: How did you connect with Saqib? And what are your thoughts on Beats On Time and its musical curation?
IPI: I think the first release of Saqib that crossed my path was ‘The Story of Time and Space’ back in 2021 on the label Cue. Really like this track a lot! I started to follow him then and that’s how I found out when he was starting his own label. I liked the first releases, so I sent a demo. He liked one track from this demo but was not quite sure what to do with it because the track was a little special. So I sent him some more tracks and he picked ‘Grande Marée’ and ‘My Little Paper House’ for this release. I was super happy!
I think BOT is a great label and has lots of potential. Saqib and Nina are doing an amazing job here, the music they release is super nice, the communication is perfect, the artist promotion is great, and they involve me in every decision there is to make. As an artist, I could not ask for more, and I am very happy to be part of the family.
EG: With a background in producing rap music and being the DJ of “Manyaks,” how do these early experiences contribute to your current work as a techno and house producer?
IPI: Rap music was my first big love back then when my interest in music started to grow when I was around 15 years old or so. Pretty soon, my best friend Cagri and I started a 2-man hip-hop crew in my bedroom with two turntables, a small battle mixer which had a 7-second loop function, and a mic. Super minimalistic and old school. I still listen to lots of rap music, especially from the 90s, and I would say that it still has an influence on my current productions because I sample a lot of stuff from the old records I’ve got.
EG: Your first encounter with electronic music was through an HR3 Clubnight tape of Sven Väth in 1994. How did that moment influence your perspective on techno and house music, and do you find any traces of that influence in your present productions?
IPI: I remember that when I listened to that tape for the first time, I was really impressed and immediately tried to find out what that music was and where it came from. Back then, I had no idea how everything worked, and I thought that all the music he was playing was also produced by him. I remember going to the record store asking for Sven Väth records, but that was not what I was hearing on the tape, so I started to dig a little deeper and realized that the records he was playing were mostly produced by other people.
There are a lot of DJs out there that I like and that play great music that fits my personal taste, but to this day, there’s no DJ whose music speaks more to me than the sets of Sven Väth. We have a very similar taste in music, I guess, and his way of DJing definitely influenced me a lot, and I took lots of things for my sets.
EG: As someone who has been collecting records since the mid-’90s, how has your record collection evolved over the years, and does it play a role in shaping your DJ sets today?
IPI: Yes, I have a lot of records here at home. That has always been a big problem every time I moved to another apartment. My poor friends who helped me always had to carry a lot of records. The last time I counted them, some years ago, there were around 4000. In the earlier days, we played only with vinyl, but since everything is available digitally, I don’t buy as many records anymore.
Most of the stuff I play is digital. I still buy vinyl, but not so much electronic stuff. I love to go to flea markets and browse through the old used records people are selling there. You can find some really amazing things at a flea market.
“Groove and emotion are the most important elements of a good track.”
EG: Being a resident DJ at “Lustundfreu.de” parties from 2005 to 2012, what kind of atmosphere and energy do you aim to create when performing live, and how does that translate into your studio productions?
IPI: For me as a DJ, it is very important to feel the crowd on the dancefloor and try to create the best energy possible. The people come because they want to dance and have a good time, and my job as a DJ is to create that for them. But I also love to play long sets or warm-ups because you can play a much broader spectrum of music then. I love to start a set very quietly, with some ambient tracks, for example, and raise the energy slowly. I think it’s very important to have development and dramaturgy, and I can control this the best when I play long sets. You can find this dramaturgy in my productions as well, I think, as my tracks always need some time to peak.
EG: Finally, looking into the future, what can we expect from IPI in terms of new projects, collaborations, or musical explorations? Are there any particular directions you’re excited to explore in your upcoming work?
IPI: My goal for next year is to play more as a DJ. The last few years, I didn’t play as much as I wanted to because I was more focused on my productions. I would love to find a good booking agency that fits me. Production-wise, I already have some releases scheduled for next year, and as I still have lots of unreleased music here, I think there will be some music coming out in 2024. Let’s see what the universe has planned.
IPI’s ‘Grande Marée’ is out now via Beats On Time. Stream and download here.