INTERVIEW: Abstract Music Through The Eyes Of Mr. Whipple
An hour of the same throbbing sound causes you to question the artfulness of this genre of music.
It could be considered the abstract form of music, comparable to how a red dot on the center of a canvas could be constituted as art. I would argue that this music genre is the white canvas with the red dot that you buy at Target, devoid of dimension and meaning, made solely for the swaying sweaty bodies at raves.
However, behind the mainstream concept of dub step and house music is a new genre slowly rising. Artists of this field consider it to be outside the box of labeling.
One such musician I had the pleasure of sitting down with offered only “Experimental Electronic” as the title he considered decent enough to capture what his music stands for.
Christian Trebon, known as Mr. Whipple in the musical sphere, has been composing music for nearly 10 years, starting in his younger years as a percussionist.
After meeting his current roommate he became more interested the art of electronic music. “He got me interested in how it’s done and wanting to make my own,” he said.
Trebon does not consider his music within the realm of dub step or house music like some listeners may think. “It’s just like with any other music,” he explained, “There’s mainstream dubstep that’s shitty and sounds like the same as everything else.”
He thinks of this music as one-dimensional, whereas the beats he has composed over the years are derived completely from his emotion and deep with meaning.
Like a visual artist, he works off of inspiration. “Whatever mood I’m feeling is what comes out in the music,” he said. And like an abstract piece of art, his songs are open to interpretation by his listeners.
Trebon hit a pivotal moment in his music career last month when he was able to play at Low End Theory in Los Angeles, after which he was sought out by a writer from Fox & Sound Collection to be featured in an online article.
The writer, so impressed with Trebon’s performance, predicted in his article, “No doubt, with his unique mix of heavy bass tones and intricate melodies, this kid will tear it up.” Not a bad review for someone just entering the scene. (Ed. note: the article appears to no longer be online.)
The atmosphere at a venue you would go to watch artists like Trebon, Mono/Poly or Matthew David is very telling to the following of this music: small but strong.
Walking into the Kava Lounge in San Diego, where he has played several times, you will be met with bumping music, neon painting on the walls and people from all walks standing around the small room listening intently to the beats pouring out of the computers where the musicians slam out their playlist. It isn’t the rave-like atmosphere you associate with house music.
“I personally feel like for my style, it’s a much more elite niche,” Trebon said. He doesn’t see this particular genre—or non-genre—becoming mainstream anytime soon. The people who follow this music and those who compose it are consumed by the concept of such a form. They want to connect with people through the music.
The best creativity, in Trebon’s opinion, comes out when musicians can get out of the box they categorize themselves into. “It’s an exciting time to be in this type of genre,” he said. The beauty of composing such beats is that it can appeal to people with different tastes in music and slowly open their eyes to the different dimensions and artists within Trebon’s field.
I personally am a huge follower of hip-hop and was initially drawn to this music through one of Trebon’s earlier songs, "Gloomy Glutch."
Even I couldn’t come up with the proper category of his music, failing to describe it properly with the explanation, “it’s like the beats rappers rap to.” The truth is it touches lightly on several different categories of music, resting mostly on electronic.
Low End Theory was a huge step in the life of Mr. Whipple and possibly the event that will put him on the same caliber as the major players in his industry like Onra, Tycho and Flying Lotus. As for his next big musical move, he is aiming to play at the Low End Theory in San Francisco. “The sound is just ten times more massive,” he said. “It’s nowhere near what L.A. is like.”