Just a little longer than a month ago, local hero JP Enfant released his debut EP on DGTL Records. Following this, we sat down with the producer to dive into the story behind 'Accepio' and to pick his brain about his inspirations, creative process and discuss the balance between storytelling and production.
Q. Can you tell us the story behind the name ‘Accepio’?
A. Yes, The name Accepio is derived from a Latin word. It means “accepting, receiving and learning”. I made the tracks on this EP as a study to a new method of arranging my music. I used the Fibonacci sequence to emphasize important turns and changes, while normally you would use the 8 bar change pattern. Bach, Debussy, and Satie used this technique in their classical pieces and I wanted to try out if it would work for electronic music too. The Fibonacci sequence can be seen as quite a perfect representation of the golden ratio. Basically, it is believed that arranging this way would be more natural and harmonious. So yes I learned quite a lot from making this EP, which makes the title quite appropriate I think!
Q. In what ways have your previous projects/releases influenced the sound of this particular EP?
A. Personally, I always strive to evolve and learn as a person, but even more as an artist. Making art is a never-ending process of getting better and getting new ideas while translating your feelings, moods and emotions into music in this case. I see every finished track or release as a step in that process. Also, it brings you to places you wouldn’t have been without the previous body of work. Actually, this EP felt like a big step forward from my last EP, which was released on my provisional inactive LET label. It took me some time to integrate new techniques, and master them also, to be able to tell what I wanted to say in the music. I think on this release that turned out much better than on my last EP. It was a huge improvement in the sense that I maybe didn’t feel 100% satisfied with the former release in retrospect. When you have that feeling, you can only strive to do better. I think I succeeded to do that, if I look at the Accepio EP.
Q. What does your creative process look like when producing a body of work?
A. Nice question, I made a podcast about my creative process around 6 years ago. You can find it here.
8 times out of 10 I just sit down and start, without a particular idea of what I want to make. So I just begin and jam; either on my drum computers to build some rhythms, or on one of my synths designing sounds and playing melodies. Most of the time, you find something you like or fit your current state of being. I take it from there and then I start developing. Sometimes it comes together quickly, and other moments it’s more like a prolonged shock therapy of trial and error. The latter can be a pain in the a** and can lead to a point where you feel like you’re pretty much stuck. That feeling of a stranded project can be depressing, but it almost always leads to a breakthrough in the end which elevates the track to what you thought it should be, or even better.
Those other two times of the ten, emotions are strong and you just start playing and come up with something directly and naturally. It just flows out of your fingers in one single go and the most beautiful thing is; what comes out goes straight to the core. The process is then without exception, fast and therapeutic. These I consider most of the time, my most precious, intimate pieces of art.
Q. How do you balance storytelling with production when building the tracks?
A. I think you cannot see one from the other really. Choices I make in production are a big part of my creative process. It is true that in some cases, the recording is horrible and still the impact of a song is tremendous on an emotional level. I believe the reason for that is, that music is a mood saver and a universal language. It can bring across that particular mood and emotion that you captured in the making process. If the mood is strong and intense, it will always come across, no matter the quality of production. But deliberately using production techniques can help you to emphasize the storytelling and make it stronger. I used to be a producer that was all about high fidelity and pristine sound. For a couple of years, I also see how you can use the more gritty, distorted sound to emphasize the expressed story even better in a technical way. Using production-techniques like that also means that you need to master your tools and techniques. It really depends on the goals you are pursuing with a certain track or project how you use production creatively.
Q. While each track on the EP is unique in their own way, do you strive to thread a common link between them as a whole?
A. Yes, I always strive for a balanced EP. See it as kind of a short movie. You tell a story musically and every track is a different chapter of the story really. If one track is intense and more like a dancefloor track, the next one might be more slow, dark, and suspenseful. Or if one track feels very comfortable to listen to, as everything is in harmony, the next track could be gnarly and uneasy. Somehow I think these kinds of paradoxes are always something I’m looking for. Most of the time this happens unconsciously and I only find out after a project, or track for that matter, is finished.
Q. Do you aim for the audience to arrive at a certain emotional place when listening to your music?
A. Yes, I do. I think that is the essence of my music. At least what I strive for mainly. You want to take people to a place emotionally. I mentioned earlier that music has a powerful ability to capture emotion. In the most pure form, you capture the emotion in the music directly when you make it. I always think of it as saving a file on an old floppy disk. When you put it in another computer and get that exact same file and information. That’s how I see music and it’s carriers, but then for emotions. It’s a mood saver, you are literally saving your mental state of being and you can transfer an emotion to someone else, or to a group of people, at any given time and place nowadays. Music also leaves less room for interpretation than other art forms for that matter which makes it an even more powerful form of expression. I am intrigued by this concept really.