Outerground - Exploring the Inner Space of an Eclectronic Imagination

What is the Outerground and where can it be found ? “It's the limitless Inner Space of imagination” says the London based electronic artist and producer. “The internal world we all create for ourselves, inhabited by the ghosts of experience.” Outerground's is a busy place, full of vivid imagery, acquaintances, fictional characters, otherworldly beings & far off places, visited, dreamed of and imagined. There's always a jukebox in the background, playing melodies in all the keys of life and it's 7-inch vinyl collection rotates a vast, eclectic playlist.

Dialing through the electronic spectrum from minimal techno towards soul & jazz influenced deep house and off into the far reaches of ambient, cinematic score, Outerground's output is varied, inspired by an endless fame hall of eclectic musical influences from Stevie Wonder, Roy Ayers and Stan Getz on one side to Erik Satie, Max Richter and John Barry with Manuel Parrish on the other, with The Human League, Florian Schneider-Esleben and Ralf Hütter somewhere in the middle.

Growing up in the leafy suburbs of Liverpool UK with Artist parents, Outerground's early years were spent in a flurry of discovery. Magnifying glasses allowed a deeper exploration of the world and later microscopes, delving even further into the fascinating, hidden details of nature. Pond dipping, collecting and studying insects, exploring outer space, indigenous cultures, dinosaurs, the great history of art and ancient civilisations, on television, but mostly at the local Museum and Walker Art Gallery. In quiet moments, playing free form on the house piano and reading...alot, from the vast collection of books at home. Grandad Fennah was a classically trained pianist and Outerground often sat under the piano, listening gripped as Debussy's Claire de Lune sent them on an emotional rollercoaster of exuberant highs and melancholy lows, grappling with this seeming paradox would set the tone of Outerground's inquiry of music's relationship to the vibrations of human emotional range. Later, a portable Yamaha keyboard opened up a fascination with improvisation and the ADSR shaping of electronic sounds. Grandad's recommendation of 'practising your scales' only later fully comprehended. 

A basic but revolutionary computer with 4 channels of 24khz, 8 bit sound and 1mb of RAM, hooked up to a tv and a ghetto blaster was the first incarnation of Outerground's studio. The early anthology of tracks produced then, still forms a few vertebrae of the backbone of the Outerground sound. A visit to Pete Ridsdale's studio in Bristol gave the opportunity to experiment and record a surreal film score with processed vocal samples and synthesised instruments. From that moment on Outerground knew that making music would always be there as a kind of beautiful and haunting self-curing disease. A personal dialogue setting up conversations between the external world and internal life. An emotional journal like a diary but without words. Sometime simply as a form of cheap entertainment or comforting cerebral masturbation. Although Outerground spans many creative pursuits, training in contemporary dance and studying theatre before honing in on digital art, multimedia and animation, making music was always there in the background, a couple of hours per day forever, with perhaps the odd hiatus due to medical emergencies, courtship, holidays or tight deadlines.

Outerground takes a renaissance approach to creativity with many outlets influencing a fluid  approach to music production. Photography, sculpture, found art, digital painting, poetry, filmmaking, live video installations with microscopes and surface pattern design complement an already fervent imagination helping Outerground create stories, often hidden with personal cyphers deep within tracks or right on the surface in cryptic track titles. As the studio's in-house cross platform producer, Outerground has produced many projects across broadcast, film, installation and live events, bringing exuberant life to epic sized stage design for International Artists such as PINK, Rolling Stones, U2, Qtip, Candy Lo and more. 

Previous releases by Outerground include 2 published E.P's. ABRACDABRA and Standard Model. ABRACADABRA is a voyage through the loneliness of outer space towards a self perpetuating inner rhythm and was re-released in August 2019 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11's landing on the Moon. Standard Model references a musical and rhythmic ideal contained in dance music which has a natural attraction and is part of Outerground's inherent musical character.

Straight out of the oven in an exclusive pre-release on reverbnation is Ghosts on the Machine, an 8 track compilation of a new and well defined Glitch & Bliss sound. A blend of uplifting and melancholic tracks with a harmonic beep, distorted NY bells feeling to make the feet itchy and the heart flutter, Ghosts on the Machine and Outerground's recent twin space mission themed, single release appeals to scientific minded minimalist techno gadgeteers and harmonic house fans alike. The carefully blended Mothership sound incorporates heavy elements of glitch, digital gremlins and space ghosts in the machine, reflected in the new EP title.

Amphibious is a soulful and cinematic compilation of down tempo night-time tracks for the autumn, with an extra-dimensional feel, inspired by film score, while Outerground continues to write and compile a follow up collection to Ghosts on The Machine, perpetuating a micro-niche dance sub genre of Glitch & Bliss.

If you read this far, this might interest you. Ghosts on the Machine has a bit of a story. Although Outerground's interest and influence by dance music stretches beyond the stars and has always been their very first love, this collection was also consciously inspired by listening to some more traditional music which at the time of it's first release, struck Outerground as epic, modern and timeless. The study of both the performance and recordings of the album Rumours by Fleetwood Mac and a very careful re-listen to the Thriller album by Michael Jackson. 

Revisiting the iconic album Rumours from 1977, the first thing that leaves a lasting impression is the strong synergy of John Mcvie bass and Mick Fleetwood drums seeming to continually arrive in same instance, giving the music a hypnotising and powerful drum and bass domination, an almost  military march style, interspersed by stroke of genius guitar riffs and vocals by musical hero Lindsey Buckingham. Christine Mcvie's keys complimenting almost invisibly but centrally, leading to a harmonically super sweet saccharine sound. Stevie Nicks vocals sometimes, almost wayward with beautiful timing, weaving over the top like a medieval silken blanket, knitting the elements together into an album of endless hits with the overall effect of being sophisticated, powerful and penetrating without overwhelming the listener. 

The sheer energy and polished sound of Thriller made it almost impossible to ignore, becoming the world's best selling album in 1982 @ 66 million copies. Although Michael's sixth studio album, the way Thriller's tracks seamlessly blended elements of pop, funk and disco produced a signature sound that has been copied over and over, but never quite matched. It still has a vibrancy and freshness. Listen to the track Amarillo Wang on Ghosts on the Machine and you may pick up a sense of the Title track's Thriller groove which helped inspire it. Hands up for the one and only Quincy Jones. 

Though he was featured in recently released Lifoti's January/February 2020 issue 11, you can check it from below link's for your country:

No comments