Rival Consoles is London electronic producer Ryan Lee West and here on his latest release for Erased Tapes he delivers a considered selection of music.
Despite coming from Erased Tapes, the same stable as Nils Frahm and Ólafur Arnalds, Sonne is a very electronic affair. With heavy drone basslines and waves of distortion this is electronic music that attempts to be grounded in a more human sound. His composition process usually starts on piano, violin and guitar before transitioning into an electronic production and it is perhaps this approach that lends this release its sense of purpose and careful constructed sound. The result is like Jon Hopkins working with James Holden, and at its best as good as either.
Technically more of a mini-album than an EP, Sonne features six tracks and clocks in at just under 30-minutes long. The tracks do an impressive job of feeling distinct despite the overall level of consistency in the sound applied across this release. And so 3 Chords is a big chugging distorted drone-fest whilst Helios, which immediately follows, features a soft multi-layered melody weaved in amongst similarly distorted basslines. Think Tank is Rival Consoles at his best, full of foreboding melodies and echoing percussion that builds towards an anthemic and cinematic climax.
It is all to common for intelligent electronic music to become overly embroiled in technique and subtlety at the expense of substance. Sonne is a clear demonstration Rival Consoles has both.
Sonne is out on 15 September through Erased Tapes. Check a selection of tracks from Rival Consoles, including a couple from Sonne, below: