London-based producer Ryan Lee West, better known under the name Rival Consoles, is notable for making synthesisers sound human and atmospheric. With the release of his mini album ‘Night Melody’ and ‘Odyssey’ and ‘Sonne’ EPs, West has gained a reputation for making thoughtful electronica that spans a wide spectrum of musical ideas. Foremost a guitarist, growing up listening to rock rather than club music, his last full-length album ‘Howl’ sees West strive towards finding a more personal balance between music for home listening and larger spaces.
August 5th 2016 marked the release of Ryan’s latest release – the 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.”
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.
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 his hometown Leicester. 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 Moogfest, FORM: Arcosanti, Mutek, Decibel, Big Ears and Berghain’s Pop-Kultur Festival, as well as tours in support of Clark, Nosaj Thing, Luke Abbott and Kiasmos.