Kyle Yip—also known as Discrete—is a JUNO Award Nominated hypersurrealist artist internationally recognized for his exact recreations of visual art, music and film conceived from his dreams. Since a 2006 Arts York Visual Arts Graduate Exhibition at Group of Seven artist Frederick Varley’s residence in York Region, Yip’s work has been widely exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions.
While Kyle maintains active presence in Toronto’s nightlife, often throwing parties for his Savvy Records label, he is equally involved with an international community of producers and musicians. His accolades from distinguished artists such as Dj Sneak, Merc, MousseT and Dave Pezzner can attest to this as well as his releases on labels such as Defected Records and Get Physical Music.
Yip received the JUNO Award Nomination for best Electronic Album of the Year from The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for his debut album The Midas Touch in 2016. In July 2018, Spotlight Contemporary Art Magazine published Kyle Yip’s first ever two-page spread in its print edition. In 2019 he received publications in IGGY Magazine, Exclaim!, and Toronto Art Newspaper. He accepted a Finalist Award for Artist of the Year and an Honorable Mention Award from the Circle Foundation for the Arts, and Slate Asset Management’s Rotating Public Art Grant. He also received an award nomination for Keepin’ It Weird from the Austin Music Video Festival and Best Cinematography from the Kinsale Shark Awards International Festival of Creativity alongside artists such as Prince and The Chemical Brothers in 2019. In 2020, he was given an Honourable Mention Award from the Ontario Society of Artists and official selection at NewFilmmakers Los Angeles, Toronto Lift-Off Film Festival, and Blowup Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival.
In 2021 he accepted honorariums from Myseum of Toronto, Visual Arts Mississauga, Ontario College of Art & Design University, received a four-page publication in RICE Contemporary Art Magazine Vol. 2 alongside artists such as Marina Abramović, was nominated for Best of NewFilmmakers Los Angeles 2021, New Media & Experimental, and was awarded 1st Prize at The Holy Art INFINITY virtual group exhibition in London.
We are excited to have Discrete on board for next instalment of our podcast.We also had a nice chat which you can read below while you listen his set.
Tell us a bit about this mix? Where did you record it and when?
I recorded the mix earlier this year at my home studio.
Since approximately 2016, I have been experiencing very vivid recurring REM dreams of contemporary visual art, music videos, short films, feature length films, haute couture fashion collections, and electronic music productions I have not seen or heard before.
Other dreams I have are scored by songs I recognize by other artists which I often share with my followers immediately once I wake up then add to a private playlist so as not to forget its symbolic significance as it pertains to my own personal development. I believe the first song I remember dreaming about was Summer Breeze by Seals & Croft around the time of the first lockdown. This confounded me because I do not remember a time in my life up until that point where I was able to dream about songs that actually existed let alone possess the ability of being able to remember having dreams about them in the first place. This was also not an artist or a song I would listen to on a regular basis.
It is difficult to say when this lineage of inspiration began, as I have been working forty to eighty hours a week at my visual art practice while concurrently and consecutively listening to various live DJ set recordings, mixes, albums, EPs and podcasts over a thirty year period of time. This consistent conditioning has not only resulted in a psyche colonized by over forty-thousand hours of such content, but has also inspired the creation of new compositions and cross-identifactory genres of art.
In one dream, for example, I am reminded of a music video which also happened to be an art installation inside a museum in which viewers could enter the space or “step into the dream.” It was a colorful, low light set staged with readymades I recognized from my music studio including my Nord Lead 2 analog synthesizer — the keys of which were bound behind bulletproof glass. These tempered objects surrounded a shallow swimming pool, the caustics of which would reflect these colourful lights across the museum walls and props. In the midst of this surreal yet immersive scenario I found myself in, I noticed a deep tech track playing in the background reminiscent of Ferro’s work with very specific samples I was able to retain in my audio notes upon awakening.
I came to the conclusion after experiencing this dream that my visual arts and electronic music practice were beginning to harmonize into new modes of creating and presenting artwork and were diametrically informing one another on a subconscious if not spiritual level.
How does your mood dictate what you play?
My dreams dictate my music selection, but my mood influences my dreams.
Can you talk us through some of the records and transitions on the mix?
The tracklist for this mix came to me during a dream.
I also have recurring dreams of Top Ten electronic music charts, DJ sets, and mixes presented by myself integrating other artists’ work which I am able to identify in the same chronological and sequential order in which they are conceived during the dream itself.
I work hypervigilantly to ensure the end result is as compositionally coterminous to the dream image or audio as possible. In subverting my own subjective input into the work, I am able to instead reveal its latent meaning. The query then becomes more about what is inspiring these dreams of art and music rather than my interpretation of it.
I think a lot of early 1960s New Wave cinema such as Ingmar Bergman’s iconic long cross-dissolves inspired these longer crossfades during these mixes I have been noticing during my dreams. There are a lot of mysterious nuances and details which become omitted from mixes because integrating them can be very challenging to synchronize in the absence of the instrumental. The longer transition can also allow the observer to appreciate the meta-state of being neither “here” nor “there“, but “on their way.“
I otherwise refer to the overarching musical subgenres across these recurring dreams where I find myself DJing, arranging or organizing my music collection and selection to discover analogous underground artists tangentially.
For example, if I recognize tracks produced by artists such as Ben Vedren or Myles Serge during a dream, I will later listen to some of their mixes as I paint or research their charts online to find what artists they support.
Music aside, what else is keeping you busy right now?
I just concluded my inaugural participation in Visual Culture 2022 at the CICA Museum in South Korea. We are now working towards publishing my work in their New Media Art 2023 publication by Phaidon Press. Most of my time is spent at my art studio — not to be confused with my home music studio — working exhaustively on various series of paintings and sculptures originally envisioned during other recurring REM dreams. I am currently seeking representation by a professional art gallery to present my inaugural RENAISSANCE SHOW solo exhibition, and or talent agency for DJ bookings, promotion and management. The work involves the ongoing reproduction of forty-eight inch square acrylic paintings on birch panels integrating vexillological motifs and deconstructed high fashion consumer logos on packaging within the same compositional dynamics and format. I was pleasantly surprised to find my Dream Painting F3 — the third appearance and variation of the series from this dream I had on June 22nd, 2020 — was awarded Second Place at Art Space Connect Gallery’s juried group exhibition in Toronto yesterday, and Dream Painting F9 with First Place at the Art Gallery of Mississauga’s 2021 Inaugural Juried Art Show Exhibition of Fine Art.
What have you been busy working on recently (musically) and what else can we look forward to from you over the next while?
In between these various intensive art productions, I have been gradually and intermittently developing an album of deep tech, minimal techno, tech house, and techno music originally conceived during another recurring REM dream of mine.
I have trained myself through art therapy, dreamwork, and sleep hygiene in such a way that I can educe and document pertinent information including the precise audio samples, duration, effects, key, levels, lyrical content — if any, and tempo with timestamps of these electronic house productions in meticulous detail.
I am not prepared to announce the title of my album yet as you can imagine this arduous process can be very time consuming and is therefore too premature to disclose. I can say this will be my fourth consecutive album released on my own record label, Savvy Records — the first of which was nominated for best Electronic Album of The Year in 2016.
Discrete – In My Room (Official Music Video)