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TRACK LISTING: A1. Odyssey A2. Philip. B1. Voyager B2. Rebecca B3. Soul (feat. Peter Broderick)
Like many electronic artists, Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles spent his early years experimenting with IDM, glitch and dance, but one consistent element in his musical journey has been his desire to create a more organic, humanised sound. Through these experimentations he has found a process of producing electronic music that feels close to this urge. Restricting himself to a small selection of analogue equipment, West engages his hands directly with instruments and is very selective about what he then records into the computer. He reduces musical parts even further, leaving enough space around the sound for it to breath.
‘Odyssey’ is a reflection of West’s quest to create atmosphere and space from minimal arrangements. ‘I don’t like music to sound overly laboured, so I restrict how much is going on. I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of reduction.’ The new 5-track EP was mastered by Naweed and will be released worldwide on October 21 in the form of a 12" Vinyl and Download via Erased Tapes.
‘Odyssey’ and ‘Voyager’ are both incredibly stripped down and have a great sense of space throughout them. It's all about using the right ingredients at the right points in time. A lot of these ingredients are short recordings, such as ice cracking, mechanical clicks, clicks from synth errors, sounds of debris, guitar plucks etc., which interact with the simple arrangements and create little hints of rhythm. I also love the technique of swelling in music, but I realised that hardly anyone has done that in electronic music. So when I first got the synth to swell in and out with the opening chords of ‘Philip’, it was a great moment. Because it creates a human mood in a matter of seconds, which is very difficult to do with electronic sounds. That track is very important to me, and I think it will influence how I make music in the future.’ – Ryan Lee West
West will perform alongside his contemporary composer mates Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm for a special electronic Erased Tapes night as part of London’s The Hydra series on October 18. The same day will also see a special in-store event at Phonica Records, where West will showcase the ‘Odyssey’ EP amongst other tracks on his beloved analogue gear, joined by South London’s artist Supermundane creating a live art piece in the shop window.
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. West often composes early ideas on piano, violin and guitar, although the end result is much more electronic-laden. In 2009 saw a split release between West and Ólafur’s techno project Kiasmos, which revealed their mutual appreciation for dance music. Ryan has also produced remixes for New York based composer Nico Muhly and UK producer Jon Hopkins.
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