Boomkat Product Review:
Erased Tapes’ resident dancefloor hooligan lets it out all out across six cuts of bottom lip-wobbling melancholy and utopian synth themes
“London-based electronic songwriter Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles presents his most personal work to date in the form of a mini-album titled ‘Night Melody’.
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.”