Taken from the album ‘Persona’ out on 2LP/CD/DL: http://phonofile.link/rivalconsoles-p…
Director: Dan Medhurst
Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles presents his expressive new album ‘Persona’, set for release on 13th April 2018 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.
Stream the album in full here
“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.”
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.
Multi-coloured melodies and rhythms from one of the key runners behind the acclaimed Erased Tapes Label. You can watch the full AV show via the video here
Rival Consoles makes his return to Erased Tapes with his new LP HOWL.
SPIN magazine wrote “The nine-track effort chugs forward with the same feathery mechanics as Jon Hopkins’ “Open Eye Signal” or the most powerful songs on Sarah Neufeld and Colin Stetson’s Never Were the Way She Was, picking up noises along the way like a sticky, rolling ball of tack: roiling blasts and bleats of horns, distant yowls of feedback, and grittily twinkling synths accompany the song on its mesmerising journey.”
Says West of the track, “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.”
10th Oct – Manchester @ Texture
11th Oct – Stockton On Tees (In-store) @ Sound It Out
12th Oct – Glasgow @ Hug & Pint
13th Oct – Brighton @ Green Door Store
14th Oct – London @ Corsica Studios
15th Oct – Bristol @ Start The Bus
16th Oct – Leicester @ Firebug
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for AV show bookings.
LittleBig are pleased to welcome Rival Consoles to the roster.
The London producer will release a new EP called ‘Sonne’ via Erased Tapes on September 15th.
The new release follows last year’s ‘Odyssey’ EP, and represents hit attempt to imbue his music with “colour.” He explained to RA recently “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.”
Originally signed to the label after sending an unsolicited demo, West has found a home for his analog-focused music on Erased Tapes. His music as Rival Consoles has progressed from its IDM roots to approach the slow-building, atmospheric heft of the imprint’s orchestral ambient act, Winged Victory For The Sullen.
West will debut a new live set at a yet-to-be-announced London release show, and is also scheduled to play Seattle’s Decibel festival. Check out Sonne’s second track, the minimalist ‘3 Chords,’ below.