Dominic Stephens is the man behind OUTERWAVES – a production project of his that continues his exploration of “the effect of sound, repetition and irregular frequency” that manifests onto his listeners.
Not one to stick his name under any specific genre, he’s very passionate about creating sounds and textures from the comfort of his bedroom as his music is captured through rustic, lo-fi production.
Proving versatility in his endeavours, we caught up with Stephens about Outerwaves to gain a further insight of this project and how it differs from his previous work as Oh Ye Denver Birds and Nimble Animal.
Your sound has been described as very psychedelic, how would you describe Outerwaves’ sound?
I probably wouldn’t describe my sound as psychedelic, but people like to jump to conclusions quite quickly when it comes to genres. I hope my sounds appeal to listeners in a different way to other beat artists, and if they want to call it psychedelic, that’s fine with me. I’ll just call it fun, interesting and sonically intricate electronic based music, which I make out of my bedroom for the enjoyment of experimenting within realms of sound exploration and pop construct.
Adamnoteve’s video asking people what they though of ‘Let Her Go’ was interesting, and everyone’s reaction was pretty positive, was that exciting to hear?
Yeah, I was worried when they sent me that video. It was an interesting selection of people they interviewed but yeah it seemed like everyone was smiling.
What was the inspiration behind ‘Let Her Go’?
I’d had that song half finished for a long time. The lyrics are a trip. I wrote and recorded them in the early hours of the morning.
You’ve been compared to a few artists like Flume, are there any you look up to?
Ummm, I like artists with the correct aesthetic. Beginning DIY, and staying true to why they make music. I enjoy making pop music but I don’t enjoy being compared to flume. At the moment I look up to some of the legends- John Cage. Shaeffer. Kraftwerk. Eno, David Byrne, Everything from the Kraut Rock era, Aphex Twin. In Australia I think Seekae are pretty cool. Also there is Kangaroo Skull, Angel Eyes, Rat and Co, Townhouses and so many more
Can we expect any collaborations in the future?
Yes, with the release of my first album coming this year. It’d be dam fine to get some heroes of my own to lay down their talent of some of tracks. I’d love it and I will definitely push it to some friends and artists who I deem appropriate for an intimate, hyper-sharing of ideas and expertise.
You have heaps of side projects like Oh Ye Denver Birds and Nimble Animal, what made you want to work on them all?
I need clarity between projects. I want to experiment with all aspects of sound and I don’t feel I can explore these avenues to any finality when only operating under the one moniker. Due to study and other commitments I might not be able to devote as much time as I had in previous years when crafting albums across the board for different projects, and I will most likely commit to one or maybe two projects to push forward in the coming months. I’ll have to see how things go.
Do you get a lot of down time between working on those projects?
No not really. Between creating music, working and study there isn’t too much downtime, but it’s what I love to do, so it’s never an irritating thing.
Is music your main creative outlet?
Music / Sound. Yes.
What does the future hold for you?
I’d like to just release a wonderful album, If that is possible. With new music finding it’s way onto my computer screen each day, I start to wonder whether a release of any sorts is as effective as it once was when the internet and facebook first began to manifest. I’d only hope the music was shared and played and enjoyed, and I do think an honest, interesting sounding release can generate the enthusiasm of listeners to really get behind an artist and become true fans instead of occasional listeners. Only time will know. Hopefully I can organize something interesting for the release. It’s very exciting and I can’t wait to tell you more… Thanks for the questions.
Words by Lauren Payne.