Search Results for:

RIVAL CONSOLES

Rival Consoles

Overflow

    Rival Consoles returns with a resonant and explorative soundscape of original music, composed for renowned choreographer Alexander Whitley’s contemporary dance production Overflow.

    Exploring themes of the human and emotional consequences of life surrounded by data, the piece echoes the concept of social media, advertising, marketing companies and political factions exploiting our data to gain wealth, political advantage and sow division. Key reading for the project was based around the contemporary philosophical work Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism and New Technologies of Power by Byung-Chul Han.

    “The piece opens with Monster which has a kind of drunken madness to it, highly repetitive to mirror the repetitive nature of how we as humans engage with technology such as social media. It’s sometimes edging towards chaos but yet always returning back to the same starting point, but eventually giving way to exhaustion. I wanted to create a bold opening piece for Overflow,” states West.

    I Like features the mapping of data from dancer Tia Hockey’s personal monologue, which allows chords to be heard - but only based on the activity of her voice, drawing attention to things happening behind the curtain, invisible systems, algorithms. The album also features the previously released standalone slice of euphoria, Pulses of Information — described by UK mag Clash as “typically entrancing, Pulses of Information seems to encourage a form of internal dialogue, between our inner and outer selves.”

    Overflow was premiered by the Alexander Whitley Dance Company in May 2021 at the Sadler’s Wells in London and is scheduled to tour through theatres in Europe in spring 2022. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: I've been a fan of Ryan Lee West's Rival Consoles project for a good few years now ('Howl' on Erased Tapes still gets played weekly on my stereo at home), and it's safe to say that while the sound is a lot more abrasive than those early days, it's as rich and as fulfilling a listen as ever. 'Overflow' is a wonderfully dynamic, beautifully achieved juxtaposition of melody and grit.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Monster
    2. I Like
    3. Hands
    4. Pulses Of Information
    5. Noise Call And Response I
    6. Overflow
    7. The Cloud Oracle
    8. Tension In The Cloud
    9. Noise Call And Response II
    10. Scanning
    11. Flow State
    12. Touches Everything
    13. Making Sense Of It All

    Rival Consoles

    Night Melody / Articulation

      Some of London-based electronic songwriter Ryan Lee West’s most recognised work to date comes in the shape of spontaneous EP or so-called mini album releases— clocking in just under the 40-minute mark, keeping their contents urgent, immediate and to the point.

      As with his 2013 EP Odyssey and 2014’s Sonne, which were later compiled to a full-length release titled Odyssey / Sonne in 2015, there is a similarly strong synergy between his 2016 mini album Night Melody and this year’s Articulation — made available on CD and digital formats under the title Night Melody / Articulation.

      His 34-minute, 6-track mini album Night Melody was born out of and shaped by long hours working into the night. It’s nocturnal in sound; mysterious in the way that the early hours so often are. The opening statement Pattern Of The North starts off with a collage of spliced synth melodies, inspired by anxiety that accompanies going home for Christmas. It’s followed by Johannesburg, an early sketch gradually filled out during his tour in South Africa. The closing statement What Sorrow is a fitting end to the album, building from gentle melancholia to a joyous crescendo. It’s a sensibility that’s central to the record; joy and sorrow both find their counterpoints.

      July 31, 2020 saw the release of his highly anticipated new album Articulation with an equal running time of 34 minutes. Lead track and album centrepiece ‘Articulation’ links the record back to the analogue fluidity and colour of 2016’s Night Melody. The division of varying time signatures, intertwined with a complex structure of notes, creates an expression of a moving structure and conjures a dreamy, motorik energy.

      Articulation was conceived with a very visual way of thinking, unusual for the London musician and producer. During the writing process Ryan drew structures, shapes and patterns by hand to try and find new ways of thinking about music, giving himself a way to problem-solve away from the computer. The album title references a piece by the avant-garde contemporary composer Györgi Ligeti, though not for its music, but for the non-traditional graphic score that accompanied it.

      The idea of using analogue drawings and tools to bolster digital creations can be heard in the structure of the pieces that make up Articulation from the broody techno opener ‘Vibrations on a String’ all the way to the album’s boundless closer ‘Sudden Awareness of Now’. Rising out of birdsong heard from his studio window, it has a particular urgency about it and seems to perfectly capture a longing for escape. Built around a simple and repetitive melodic theme, expanding and retracting over the course of its seven-minute odyssey.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Rival Consoles' albums are a thing to behold, hugely cinematic journeys of depth, intricacy and groove. the EP's are like snapshots of these, a short-movie if you will. Now they've collected two STUNNING EP's together onto one easy to digest CD. What are you waiting for?

      TRACK LISTING

      1 Pattern Of The North
      2 Johannesburg
      3 Slow Song
      4 Lone
      5 Night Melody
      6 What Sorrow
      7 Vibrations On A String
      8 Forwardism
      9 Melodica
      10 Articulation
      11 Still Here
      12 Sudden Awareness Of Now

      Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles drops the much anticipated new album "Articulation". Named after the lead track and album centerpiece, the album looks back to the analogue fluidity and colour of 2016's "Night Melody". The division of varying time signatures, intertwined with a complex structure of notes, creates an expression of a moving structure and conjures a dreamy motorik energy. Ryan Lee West explains, 'The title track is about articulation and playfulness with shape and time. Its structure is very machine-like, but I was really interested in how melody and sense of story could develop out of this, and it became an exploration of mathematical structures - patterns and shapes having a conversation. I love that something on paper can appear rigid and calculated, but then take on new meaning based on the context that surrounds it, or how it changes over time.'

      "Articulation" (which follows 2018’s "Persona") was conceived with a very visual way of thinking, unusual for the London musician and producer. During the writing process Ryan drew structures, shapes and patterns by hand to try and find new ways of thinking about music, giving himself a way to problem-solve away from the computer. The album title references a piece by the avant-garde contemporary composer Györgi Ligeti, though not for its music, but for the non-traditional graphic score that accompanied it.

      'I find electronic music is often battling to say something with integrity because technology and production can easily get in the way. I think the goal of a lot of electronic composers is to find a balance between the vision of the idea and the power of possibilities on the computer. With a pen and paper sketch you can compose and rethink ideas without technology getting in the way, so for me it acts as a very helpful tool to refresh the process.' - Ryan Lee West

      Since the release of Persona, Ryan Lee West has taken his captivating live A/V set to all corners of the world. Last seen live on stage with 17 players of the London Contemporary Orchestra for a sold-out orchestral performance at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in January 2020.



      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Ryan West has never been an easy one to pin down stylistically, 2015's Howl was a superb outing, but definitely tread more along the dancefloor IDM route while this newest outing is both a continuation and expansion of Night Melody. Syncopated percussion and rich sequencing pull together into an off-kilter but fully absorbing cascade of reticent melody. Gorgeous once again.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Vibrations On A String
      2. Forwardism
      3. Melodica
      4. Articulation
      5. Still Here
      6. Sudden Awareness Of Now

      Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles presents his expressive new album ‘Persona’ via Erased Tapes. The title ‘Persona’ was inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film of the same name, specifically a shot in the opening credits of a child reaching out to touch a woman’s face on a screen, which is shifting between one face and another. This powerful image struck Ryan and it inspired the album’s main theme — an exploration of the persona, the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us, the spaces in between; between states, people, light and dark, the inner persona and the outer persona. “My music is generally inward looking. I like finding something about the self within music, that doesn't have to be specific but maybe asks something or reveals something. This record is a continuation on the self through electronic sounds. Like Legowelt once said ‘a synthesiser is like a translator for unknown emotions’, which I think sums up what I am trying to do. I think all these emotions we have make up our persona. So in a way by finding new ones you alter or expand your persona. And that is what I want my music to try to do. I deliberately aimed to be more sonically diverse with this record. I wanted to experiment more. I wanted to create new sounds and new emotions.” — Rival Consoles.

      Recorded at his studio in south-east London, ‘Persona’ benefits from Ryan’s exploration of a dynamic production process that combines analogue-heavy synthesisers, acoustic and electric instruments with a shoegaze-level obsession with effect pedals. A greater depth of emotion and confidence can be heard across the album. From the deconstructed movements on ‘Unfolding’ that starts the album with a snap of delayed snares, the apocalyptic drones of the title track and thundering drums in ‘Phantom Grip’ to more restrained ambient feels of ‘Dreamer’s Wake’, ‘Rest’ and ‘Untravel’. The latter transverses six beatless minutes of undulating melodies representing “a limbo space, a feeling of ennui, of not really ever being known to others and others not ever really being known to you”.

      ‘Be Kind’ reveals a musical connection with fellow Erased Tapes artist Nils Frahm, with its minimal approach and improvisational nature. On the more complex sounding ‘I Think So’ Ryan aims to replicate a colour collage with sound. Like a musical kaleidoscope, a flashing and convoluted mass. Written after he saw Slowdive perform live last year, ‘Hidden’ builds from whispers to landscapes of controlled noise. In an interview with XLR8R magazine, Ryan explains: “once you start trying to make a sound loud, then you turn your back on thousands and thousands of sonic possibilities. One of the best things to do is to start a track with a really quiet, weak sound.” Taking this idea to its ultimate conclusion, ‘Fragment’ closes the album as an innocent sounding ambient piece, almost nursery rhyme like, yielding time for reflection on how the persona has changed.

      ‘Persona’ follows the success of a series of releases — the ‘Odyssey’ and ‘Sonne’ EPs, long player ‘Howl’, and 2016’s mini album ‘Night Melody’ — that saw Ryan mature into what Pitchfork has called a “forward-thinking electronic musician with his own ideas about sound”. Atypical of instrumental-electronic music, Ryan has achieved a signature sound that’s unmistakably identifiable as Rival Consoles. Going beyond typical electronic music production, Ryan defines it as “songwriting with an electronic palette of sounds”. The increasingly dynamic live audio-visual show, born from bespoke performances at the Tate and for Boiler Room at the V&A Museum featuring self-programmed visuals in Max/MSP, has propelled him to play around the world. Ryan launches ‘Persona’ at London’s XOYO on 12th April with further dates to be announced.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Unfolding
      2. Persona
      3. Memory Arc
      4. Phantom Grip
      5. Be Kind
      6. I Think So
      7. Sun's Abandon
      8. Dreamer's Wake
      9. Untravel
      10. Rest
      11. Hidden
      12. Fragment

      Rival Consoles

      Night Melody

        London-based electronic songwriter Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles to release his most personal work to date in the form of a mini-album titled ‘Night Melody’ through Erased Tapes on 5th August 2016.

        During the release of his acclaimed full-length album ‘Howl’ and heavy touring in late 2015, Ryan came out of a 13-year long relationship and found himself making music throughout the winter months. The result of his efforts is a 34-minute, 6-track mini album ‘Night Melody’, born out of and shaped by long hours working into the night. It’s nocturnal in sound; mysterious in the way that the early hours so often are.

        “I found myself, in a silent home, with the days getting dark very early. I’ve never before in my life been affected by the lack of light so much. I just remember it always being night time. I would either make music into the night, go out drinking with friends, or go to parties and dance into the early hours, every day, week after week, month after month, until eventually the days became brighter again.” The opening statement ‘Pattern of the North’ starts off with a collage of spliced synth melodies, inspired by anxiety that accompanies going home for Christmas. It’s followed by ‘Johannesburg’, an early sketch gradually filled out during his tour in South Africa.

        “After playing it around some of the cities, I got a lot of inspiration to bring it to life and push it into something that really moves me. I think this is one of my most colourful pieces of music, with its driving rhythm and almost a homage to Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ towards the end, with a build of very simple, hypnotic parts. I especially love that for over five minutes the piece is tied to just one note. This makes the ending very dramatic, because all of a sudden there is this harmonic change.”

        ‘Lone’ started life around the time Ryan was working on his ‘Sonne’ EP in 2014. It’s the result of constant adjustments to find the perfect balance of fragility and assurance. As everything on the album, it’s a carefully considered, emotionally mature piece. “I think, as I get older, I need music to represent something and not just sound interesting, though of course the two are connected.” The closing statement ‘What Sorrow’ is a fitting end to the album, building from gentle melancholia to a joyous crescendo. It’s a sensibility that’s central to the record; joy and sorrow both find their counterpoints.

        “This record is very personal to me and I hope it offers something for other people, as it helped me to make it and to listen to it. Almost every synth line was recorded intuitively, without perfection but with a lot of intention and expression. I’m not interested in making something sad or making something happy. I want music to be bittersweet, to be more complex, like life – containing moments of vibrant colour and hope, as much as darkness and sadness.” This summer will see Ryan follow on from his recent North American Tour with the appearance at many festivals including Lovebox, Secret Garden Party, La Route Du Rock, Sea Change and Tale of Us-curated Afterlife party at Space, Ibiza.

        TRACK LISTING

        A1. Pattern Of The North
        A2. Johannesburg
        A3. Slow Song
        B1. Lone
        B2. Night Melody
        B3. What Sorrow

        Rival Consoles

        Howl

          'Howl' is the new album by Rival Consoles, London-based electronic producer Ryan Lee West.

          Foremost a guitarist, growing up listening to rock rather than club music, West continues to strive towards finding a more personal balance between music for home listening and larger spaces. The title track was inspired by the howl-like tones he developed by running synths through guitar pedals.

          "By slowly drifting the pitch through distortion and delays, the result sounded like vocal cries – something which was perfect for the song and this inspired me to take on a darker set of tones across the whole album. It was made over the past few years, inspired by capturing small performances on synths, touring with some of my musical heroes, playing with feedback when I should have been catching a train, sampling my voice in unexpected conditions and recording textures in different countries.”

          The album explores a wide range of emotions; from the dissonance eruptions and primal rhythms in 'Howl', to the mournful improvisations of '3 Laments', which features a sample of his own voice. Alongside his performances on Moog, Prophet, tape delay and guitar, West enlisted the help of drummer Fabian Prynn for ‘Low’ and cellist Peter Gregson for ‘Walls’, both long-time collaborators of Erased Tapes peers Douglas Dare and Michael Price.

          "This album features a lot of my own recordings, rather than simply using samples that I have sitting on my computer. This gives the album a more personal feeling, which is very important to me because I think we live in a time where there is just so much recorded material out there, and accessible at a click of a button, that the joy of recording your own drum sounds, your own percussion, your own claps, seems redundant – but it’s not! That should be a priority because its often more interesting and makes you choose a different creative path."

          It’s rarely reported that Rival Consoles was Erased Tapes' very first signing, with a CDR of early demos under the name Aparatec that inspired founder Robert Raths to start the label. Indeed West has more in common with his contemporaries Nils Frahm and Peter Broderick than some might think. His consistent desire to create a more organic, humanised sound sees West often draft early ideas on traditional, acoustic instruments like the guitar or the piano; forming pieces that capture a sense of songwriting behind the electronics.

          "I try to create atmosphere and mood throughout with a less-is-more approach to composition. I'm always trying to find an exciting reaction from a few ingredients, because that is magic to me. To make something interesting with tons of layers of effects just doesn't excite me. But to make something interesting with just three layers requires a special alignment of sounds, ideas and timing. This is my most personal work to date, following on from 'Odyssey' and 'Sonne' which gave me the confidence to continue exploring my own ideas and approach to sound. The essence of this album was made with a few synths, some guitar pedals and lots of cups of tea. I hope you’ll enjoy it."

          Having repeatedly performed at such prestigious venues as the Tate, and having created a bespoke audio-visual performance for Boiler Room at the V&A Museum, the blueprint for West’s current live A/V show was formed. Featuring self-programmed visuals in Max/MSP has earned him appearances at music festivals around the world including Mutek, Decibel, Big Ears and Berghain’s Pop-Kultur Festival, as well as tours in support of Clark, Nosaj Thing, Luke Abbott and Kiasmos.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Howl
          2. Ghosting
          3. Afterglow
          4. Pre
          5. Walls
          6. Low
          7. 3 Laments
          8. Morning Vox
          9. Looming

          Rival Consoles

          Sonne

            Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles reinforces his unique style of minimal electronic arrangements with a new 6-track EP .

            Continuing on from his Odyssey EP released in 2013, Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles creates atmosphere and space whilst exploring waves of sound and rhythm, and the power of colour. With Sonne Ryan creates music to structure itself around a pulse, rather than the pulse being the defining point.

            The title track begins with “a very subtle set of melodies that repeat almost without confidence, and then gradually give way to a huge collage of colour and power”, as Ryan describes it. Not relying on a conventional beat, it’s a prime example of how an analogue synthesiser can create the power and momentum of a rhythm section. From the distorted waves in 3 Chords, growing and shrinking, to the rhythmic waves of constant speeding up and then slowing down in Recovery, it’s the Moog Voyager, Prophet and tape delay that make up the core sound of the EP. Whilst tracks like Helios, Haunt and Think Tank see West play live drums and acoustic guitar.

            “I’m often looking at art in exhibitions and I always think to myself ‘why the hell don’t I have this much colour in my work?’ The answer in part I think is down to synthesis. It is very difficult to create colour without it sounding plastic. Colour in music is both the note combinations and the actual timbre of the sounds. There are lots of instances of very colourful ambient sounds, which I took great care to create for each song, using various methods – from passing analogue synths through chains of effects to chopping up random sequences of recordings and forming tiny collages." – Ryan Lee West

            Resembling the colour and vibrancy in his music, the cover art was created by South London artist Supermundane, who was also responsible for the artwork of the Odyssey EP.

            After supporting Luke Abbott on his recent UK tour and I Break Horses on their North American tour in spring, Ryan will debut his new live set with a special release show in London, followed by a string of West Coast U.S. dates culminating in Decibel Festival.

            ABOUT THE ARTIST:
            Some might be surprised that London based electronic producer Ryan Lee West, the man behind Rival Consoles, shares a home with contemporary classical composers such as Nils Frahm, Ólafur Arnalds and Peter Broderick. And yet they have a lot more in common than expected. Fascinated by sound from an early age, Ryan chose to dedicate his time to studying, experimenting with and producing sound graduating from De Montfort University in Leicester. One consistent element in his musical journey has been his desire to create a more organic, humanised sound. Ryan often drafts early ideas on piano, violin and guitar, although the end result is much more electronic-laden. As an accomplished sound designer he has repeatedly performed at the Tate, and recently created a bespoke audio-visual performance for Boiler Room at the V&A. Ryan is currently composing music for a BBC production.

            TRACK LISTING

            A1. Sonne
            A2. 3 Chords
            A3. Helios
            B1. Haunt
            B2. Think Tank
            B3. Recovery


            Latest Pre-Sales

            126 NEW ITEMS

            PRESALE OF THE DAY: Music for the Stars (Celestial Music 1960-1979) A collection of horizontal cosmic tunes perf… https://t.co/lkyrfsgoTk
            Mon 17th - 5:00
            🔵BLUE MONDAY🔵 Bringing you an “official” Blue Monday vinyl today. Apparently, January 17th is the most depressing… https://t.co/IYU4aY9yAy
            Mon 17th - 10:03
            Some Sunday classics here from Marvin Gaye, @UltravoxUK Placebo and Judee Sill. https://t.co/KL1FeNcZ4F https://t.co/n4HDnW2Xcl
            Sun 16th - 4:00
            Little bit of a book sale on the top right pink shelf. 💓 📚 Other books are available plus we have restocked on som… https://t.co/bWxw44hNs3
            Sat 15th - 11:38
            No problem. Well deserved and now very excited about Vol. 2 🙌 https://t.co/4fklYiMhf4) @JonSavage1966 https://t.co/wqKsfhPOEh
            Fri 14th - 1:52
            E-newsletter —
            Sign up
            Back to top