Ouai Stéphane’s has a silly sensibility to his production process, building his projects on the unconventional sounds of DIY instruments and controllers that include everyday objects such as a clock, drying rack and scales. He delivers the simple message: anyone can make music from anything. His training comes from his masters in ‘Music and Media Technologies’ at Dublin’s Trinity College and for his latest release ‘Ché Pas’ he showcases his wide-reaching sounds, inspired by scenes in Ireland and France. Highlighting his fun approach to music, for the physical proof of this EP you can buy a mousepad accompanied by WAV files for download. The mousepad imagery was initiated by Marseille-based graphic artist Ben Hubbard and is a fully internet-constructed image, generated by an algorithm. Giving us a clue into his creative mind, Ouai Stéphane talks through 10 key influences from the Vengaboys to Skee Mask and Photay.
Gorillaz – Rock The House
This is the first album I bought. It was hard to choose one track from it. The sound of this album is really amazing, this mix between rock/hip hop/dub is unique. I often use these tracks as mix references even though they can be seen as old skool today.
Arvo Pärt – Cantus in Memoriam of Benjamin Britten
I discovered this track through my studies at Trinity College Dublin (Music and Media Technologies). I didn’t really know anything on electroacoustic compositions and this course opened my mind on artists like Steve Reich, John Cage, or Arvo PÃ¤rt. This track has truly had a huge influence on my composition techniques. Pretty hard to sum it up in a few sentences, but the Wikipedia page has great explanations on its structure and score.
Vengaboys – We Like To Party (The Vengabus)
I love playing clamp machines at funfairs, so I’ve often listened to this track. Fairly different from the previous Arvo Pärt but it’s still music. I like it.
Daniel Avery – These Nights Never End
This album changed my life. Once again, I’m really influenced by the “sonic footprint” of tracks and more generally albums. I discovered Ghost Culture produced this album later on and realized I was drawn to his production style and aesthetics. “These Nights Never End” sums up the sound signatures in this album, slow BPMs, rock sounding acid lines, psychedelic textures, straight forward drums and in my opinion, funk orientated synth lines.
Madonna – Music
I’m not particularly a big fan of Madonna, but I love the productions of her “Music” album. Mirwais has done amazing work on it. I really think it still sounds modern today. Definitely in my DJ sets, even though I don’t DJ.
LFO – Tied Up
I’ve always loved the dark and aggressive approach of LFO. I discovered them in Soulwax’s mixes. Since then, I think I’ve been unconsciously influenced by their atmospheres. Tied Up is a great example of pure aggressive synths blended with heavy industrial drums.
Skee Mask – Dial 274
The 2000s breakbeat/jungle era has always captivated me. I truly believe it still sounds great today (Chemical Brothers, Propellerheads…) but Skee Mask brought this vibe to a new level today. His scientific approach to making those beats proves that there are still loads to do in breakbeat/jungle. I could have put Special Request and say the exact same. These guys are a huge influence on my productions but also on my way of thinking/approach to sound design in general.
Starsailor – Four To The Floor (Thin White Duke Mix)
I’m not particularly a big fan of the voices in this tracks, I’m more drawn to the instrumental done by Thin White Duke, who’s also Jacques Lu Cont, who’s also Stuart Price, who’s globally an underrated producer. I understood pretty late that this guy was the source behind many artists that I liked, well that I thought I liked because I was actually a fan of the Stuart Price’s productions. Really hard to choose one track, but this one is pretty interesting because this track became famous for its remix that he did.
Photay – Wipe The Sleep From Your Eyes (Part 1 & 2)
I discovered this track recently through Spotify. Man, I don’t know where to start! The production is really incredible. It starts with a polyrhythm pattern played by non-pitched instruments like drums and percussions that spreads to synths, saxophone, and chords to create a purely melodic track. But it’s the way it evolves that is interesting. After listening to it maybe 100 times, I still don’t know what’s happening in the track, how it goes from one place to another. Great discovery and it’s definitely going to be a major influence on me in the future.
Eric Truffaz – Yuri’s Choice
I played the drums for a few years and focused on jazz and funk. I really enjoy jazz and it’s endless sub-genres. Just thought I’d share one of Eric Truffaz’s track, more orientated towards “acoustic” jungled drums. All this music is really the backbone of my influences.
‘Ché Pas’ by Ouai Stéphane is out now – buy here.