Andrew Stephens is an artist, designer, and experimental ambient musician based in Wichita, Kansas. An artist at heart, he has been chiseling away at his design portfolio for well over a decade. Where he began to dabble in art, his close friend Kyle began producing music. And as they both grew in their respective practices of artistic expression, Andrew crafted pieces of art to complement Kyle’s sonic endeavors. Since those early days, Andrew has gone on to craft album artwork for local musicians, design websites, logos, produce a multitude of illustrations for clients, and build his brand as a freelance designer. Only recently has he turned some of his focus toward creating his own music. And this first step he took into the realm of music production was with Kyle.
About two years ago, in April 2016, Andrew and Kyle released a succinct EP under the project name ills, an instrumental trip hop duo. Since its release, no new music has poured from the project, but about one year later, Andrew debuted his solo ambient project, Scattered Lodges. Asymmetric Soup, his first release, is a fascinating sundry of emotions and ambiance characterized by a multitude of intricately crafted soundscapes. They dredge vivid images of places unseen and foreboding, yet elicit a strange sense of calm amidst darkened clouds of billowing synths. Since dropping this cluster of songs in April 2017, he has released two single tracks, “The Alpine Chorus” and “Susurrus”, both of which are featured in this conversation. And for what remains of 2018, Andrew is actively formulating his next release. At this moment, it’s a bit uncertain where he will wander next. But with the indelible moods he conjures on his latest tracks, one can only be excited to hear his new auditory experiments.
In this conversation, Andrew discusses his early years of becoming a designer and an illustrator, how he began producing music, the boom of artistic culture of Wichita, and how he views the need for artwork and music to exist as a single entity—not just to accent the music, but to elevate it and become integral in detailing the world the music paints. Thank you so much for listening.
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You can voyage across Andrew’s soundscapes on his Bandcamp page. Be sure to follow him on Facebook as well for updates related to upcoming tracks and releases. Thank you Kyle at Ash & Dust Studio for mastering the audio.