Rival Consoles
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Rival Consoles

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‘West crafts here a splendid example of modern electronic music at its most interesting and yet, he manages to keep his work accessible and enjoyable. On the strength of this, Rival Consoles is definitely an act to watch in 2008. A very impressive release.' (4.3/5)

FULL REVIEW:

RIVAL CONSOLES: The Decadent EP (Erased Tapes)
By themilkman

Rival Consoles is the project of twenty-one year old Leicester-based Ryan Lee West. Although this is his first outing as Rival Consoles, West has previously released an EP, already on Erased Tapes, in early 2007 under his Aparatec moniker. Claiming influences stretching from Debussy to Autechre, it is no surprise to find the Decadent EP combining orchestral and electronic textures into tight and angular pieces.

With The Decadent EP, West takes the listener on a journey ranging from the twisted electro of Seventeen and the elegant orchestral swathes of Juncture to the incendiary rush of Kitsch, the warm synthetic waves of The Decadent and the soothing tones of Vari. West’s music may find its roots in the work of Aphex Twin, Autechre and Squarepusher, but this EP has undeniable personality and benefits from an oblique approach which allows him to steer it away from conventional contemporary electronic records and into much more chaotic and unpredictable ground. Despite often displaying harsh soundscapes and beat structures, the compositions are surprisingly melodic and accessible.

Juncture opens the proceedings with gentle waves of synthetic strings which convolute into a sumptuous backdrop over which a melody progressively takes shape. Later on, Kitsch appears to kick off on similar ground, but the orchestral section is reinforced by a high octane syncopated beat formation and acid squelches, giving the piece a much harsher oppressive form. Seventeen, The Decadent and Acid demonstrate a more purely electronic lineage. While the former, with its gritty bass and pulsating melody, wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Aphex release, the title track is a much more playful piece of bouncy electro which recalls leftfield Detroit techno at its most creative. Acid, which concludes the EP, does very much what its title suggests. Nervous and irritable, the piece is however tempered by a much calmer melodic background.

In contrast, Vari reveals a much more atmospheric and introvert side. The focus is here much more centered on textures and ambience, even as the beat kicks in. West makes once again good use of orchestral tones but pushes them a bit deeper within the mix as to soften the contours of his composition. The vinyl comes with a unique code that gives access to the whole EP in digital format, downloadable from the Erased Tapes website, including the bonus track Sunday, which takes on an altogether different path. It is here that West’s classical influences are most obvious. Entirely played on piano, the piece appears to leave behind the tormented electro that precedes it in favour of a much more mournful ambience.

Dense and feverish, The Decadent EP is a very promising first released from West as Rival Consoles. Ryan Lee West crafts here a splendid example of modern electronic music at its most interesting and yet, he manages to keep his work accessible and enjoyable. On the strength of this, Rival Consoles is definitely an act to watch in 2008. A very impressive release.

4.3/5
- THE MILK FACTORY (UK)


‘Es knarzt, es rattert, es macht fiesen Krach und klingt manchmal so ein bisschen nach uralten Nintendo-Spielen...so noch nie gehört!’

GESAMTE REZENSION:

Bandwatch
RIVAL CONSOLES

Es knarzt, es rattert, es macht fiesen Krach und klingt manchmal so ein bisschen nach uralten Nintendo- Spielen. Würde man Musik dieser Beschreibung mit impressionistischen Klängen paaren? Muss man auch nicht! Gibt es schon! RIVAL CONSOLES!

Ryan Lee West ist Rival Consoles - und umgekehrt. Für seine 21 Jahre macht der junge Mann aus Leicster in England schon ganz schön professionellen Lärm - die BBC verlieh ihm sogar den Titel "Electro Genius". Da kann man sich schon fast was drauf einbilden.

Und nicht nur das. Auch das Tate Britain Museum aus London klopfte bereits bei Herrn West an die Tür und lies anfragen, ob er nicht ihre Räume beschallen möge.

Seine Label-Kollegen, die Post-Rock-Band Kyte nahmen ihn dann auch noch als Support-Act mit auf Tour. Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles könnte sich eigentlich erst mal auf seinen Lorbeeren ausruhen. Aber weit gefehlt. Den ganzen Winter schon bastelt er am neuen Album IO, dass später im Jahr erscheinen wird. Genau wie die vorangegangene EP kann man sich auf Up-Tempo-Songs mit ausgefeilte Sounds und gelungene Breaks freuen; das ganze gepaart mit klassisch impressionistischen Klängen, übertragen auf Synthie-Streicher und Klavier - so noch nie gehört!

Nitt - 02.03.2009
- MUSIKEXPRESS (DE)


12.02.2009 | 12:25

Autor: Katrin Reichwein

Das Londoner Musiklabel Erased Tapes, Heimat von Finn., Ólafur Arnalds und Kyte, hat mit RIVAL CONSOLES und The British Expeditionary Force zwei neue Pferdchen im Stall, die von der Leine gelassen werden wollen.

Als erster darf der junge IDM-Künstler Ryan Lee West alias Rival Consoles raus, den einige noch aus dem Vorprogramm seiner Labelkameraden Kyte kennen dürften. Seine "The Decadent EP" findet am 13. Februar ihren Einzug in die deutschen Plattenläden. Ein paar Tage danach folgt auch schon die exklusive Vier-Track-Seven-Inch "Helvetica", die zudem einen digitalen Download-Code enthält. Und im Frühjahr darf man sich schon auf das Studio-Album "IO" freuen, bei dem auch Ólafur Arnalds sein Finger im Spiel haben wird. Erste Höreindrücke finden sich hier.

Der zweite Streich folgt mit The British Expeditionary Force auf dem Fuße. Ihr Mini-Album "Chapter One – A Long Way From Home" erscheint am 27. Februar in Deutschland. Das neue Projekt von Yourcodenameis:milo–Gründer Justin Lockey und Sänger Aid Burrows hat sich während den Aufnahmen nicht ein einziges Mal perönlich gesehen. Die Distanz zwischen Newcastle upon Tyne (Lockey) und Warrington (Burrows) war zu groß ist. Kein Problem für die beiden, die sich die Daten per E-Mail zuschickten. Den Ergebnissen dieser Arbeit kann hier vorab gelauscht werden. - VISIONS (DE)


'Thrilling stuff, primed for the more discerning floors...'

FULL REVIEW:

Kiasmos/Rival Consoles (Erased Tapes)

Killer five track electro workout from Kiasmos and Rival Consoles. Lee West's Rival Consoles contribution is a sleek and tidy affair laced with clean lines and Detroit pads and acid flecks. On the remainder, Icelandic producer Kiasmos strips reduces the matter down to elegant, deep bass tones and excellent us of space and delay. Thrilling stuff, primed for the more discerning floors... - BLEEP (UK)


‘If you’re after a fully-restored taste of the past that’s ready to take on the future, this’ll do you some serious good.’

FULL REVIEW:

Rival Consoles: "Func"
From "65/Milo" (Erased Tapes; 2009)

Remember 1999? Of course you do. You were a teenager, you couldn’t breathe without ingesting a Will Smith film, and everyone thought their computers were going to die. Yeah, that 1999. Anyway, cast your mind back to March: aside from someone unleashing the Melissa worm and the war against Slobodan Miloševic, the talk of the town was Flat Eric—a saffron Fraggle and bass hustler who hijacked the charts for a month. It seemed the world (the world in Britain, I mean) couldn’t get enough of the planet’s funniest animal, everyone pimping the fuck out of their cars to mirror the cheap throb and slick! factor. If Real Audio ringtones had been a commodity back then, “Flat Beat” would’ve been the scourge of the workplace. Nothing surer.

I can tell you exactly where Rival Consoles was in March 1999: propping up a sixth-form common room, paying close attention to the rhythm of old Flatso. Of course, back then Mr Consoles was still known an Ryan Lee West, and no one would have thought he’d end up converting the tune to a shot at dub heaven ten years later. So, going by today’s calendar, the Lazarus of Leicester has at last delivered his masterpiece with the brutal sloth of “Func,” the Flat Eric influence buried and built on with garage cackle, 8-bit sweeteners, choral glow and a grey kind of lewd loveliness. A crucial sixth of the latest from the house of Erased Tapes, it’s deep and dark like a half-filled mineshaft but still as pepped and cheeky as a chimney-sweep. Tempo: check. Beatz: check. Threat to speakers: check. Threat to car chassis: check. If you’re after a fully-restored taste of the past that’s ready to take on the future, this’ll do you some serious good, trust me. - COKEMACHINEGLOW (US)


'Worthy of the best underground clubs around.'

FULL REVIEW:

RIVAL CONSOLES: Helvetica / KIASMOS/RIVAL CONSOLES: 65/Milo (Erased Tapes)
By themilkman

One of the most iconic type faces of our times, Helvetica celebrated its fiftieth anniversary a couple of years ago amidst a wide range of events across Europe, including the ABC123 EP by To Rococo Rot. Created in 1957 by designer Max Miedinger, Helvetica has since infiltrated just about every form of visual communication and become one of the most ubiquitous and versatile fonts, used equally successfully on public signage, record covers, advertising and art.

Versatile is an adjective that can also be applied to Ryan Lee West’s Rival Consoles, whose debut release, The Decadent EP, was published on Erased Tapes at the end of 2007. Released as a four track seven inch single and digital EP, Helvetica is a hell of an eclectic release. Building on the characteristically abstract electronica of his first EP, West speeds through the drill-influenced title track, which sounds quite like a reverential nod to Aphex Twin, and the equally hyperactive, string-laden Holste, which echoes µ-ziq’s progressive Royal Astronomy of some years back, and electro IO remix of Seventeen, the original of which appeared on The Decadent EP, to the lush piano textures of Indie Is Dead, which could have been lifted from one of fellow Erased Tapes stalwart Ólafur Arnalds’s releases.

West’s contributions to the split EP with Kiasmos show another, tidier, side to his talent. Three sleek and sturdy pieces of electro peppered with delicate touches of Detroit techno, Milo, Func and ARP are extremely elegant and addictive. West progressively builds up the tension by layering increasingly heavier grooves and sounds, from Milo’s acidified chirpy melody to Func’s denser atmosphere to the utterly exhilarating heavy electro-funk of ARP. Sharing this release with West is Kiasmos, who is no other than Icelandic classical composer Ólafur Arnalds, here moving into purely electronic territories with two slices of minimal techno. 65 is a sharp and hypnotic piece propelled by a powerful beat and deep infra bass combo which is likely to get even the strongest club walls shake to the core, while Walled’s slightly more refined rhythm section drives a very effective steel drum sample. 65/Milo finds both Ryan Lee West and Ólafur Arnalds in unusual grounds, but they both take up the challenge and deliver some fine tracks worthy of the best underground clubs around.

Helvetica: 3.9/5
65/Milo: 4.3/5

Posted on Mar 27th 2009 01:33 am
- THE MILK FACTORY (UK)


Discography

IO (2009) - debut album
65/Milo (2009) - split EP with Kiasmos
Helvetica (2009)
The Decadent EP (2007)
Vemeer EP (2007) - under his moniker Aparatec

Photos

Bio

GERMAN Press release:

Cinematische Dance-Music für die anspruchsvolleren Tanzflächen.

RIVAL CONSOLES ist das Projekt des jungen Lieferanten intelligenter Dance-Music, Ryan Lee West. Für sein lang erwartetes Debüt-Album hat West, erster und beständigster Künstler auf Erased Tapes, eine mehr als anspruchsvolle Electro-Platte geschmiedet, um heftigst mit der Klub-Kultur 2009 zu flirten. I–II–III–“IO” !

„1985“ geboren, wuchs er in der kleinen Stadt Leicester in den Midlands von England auf. Schon seit frühster Kindheit von Musik fasziniert, widmete er seine Studienzeit der Produktion von experimentellen Klängen.

Als Rival Consoles kombiniert West einen cleveren und komplexen Mix harter Beats mit eingängigen Acid-Melodien. Ziel ist die Vermenschlichung eines rein auf Computern basierenden Sounds, der jedem Schubladendenken die Stirn bietet.

In seinen eigenen Worten: „Rival Consoles ist ein musikalisches Projekt, bei dem ich billige Ideen verarbeite und mit reichen, unvorhersehbaren Mustern kombiniere. Das Resultat ist Musik, die kommerziell erscheint, sich aber zugleich kommerzieller Musik widersetzt.“

Frühere Veröffentlichungen zeigen eine klare Entwicklung von der minimalistischen „The Decadent EP“ bis zum 7-Zoll-Nachfolger „Helvetica“ auf denen West Elemente der Klassik und Dance-Music in den Ring steigen ließ. Vor kurzem noch steuerte er drei Tracks zur Split-EP „65/Milo“ bei, der gemeinsamen 12-Zoll mit Ólafur Arnalds’ neuem Minimal-Techno-Projekt Kiasmos. Einen seiner unverwechselbaren Remixe erhielt Nico Muhly, Soundtrack-Komponist des Oscar-nominierten Kinofilms „Der Vorleser“.

Der frisch gebackene Universitätsabsolvent hat sich gleichermaßen zu einem Sound-Designer und Programmierer entwickelt, der anspruchsvollen Fans von Dance-Music mehr bieten kann als Tanzflächen-Stürmer im 4/4-Takt. Mehrmals schon wurde West eingeladen das weltberühmte Tate Britain Museum in London mit seiner einzigartigen Klangmalerei zu beschallen. Hierbei zog er die Besucher mit selbst-kreierten Sound-Manipulationswerkzeugen in MAX/MSP und Super Collider in seinen Bann.

Nach Auftritten im Vorprogramm seiner Label-Kameraden KYTE, auf ihrer Europatour im letzten Winter, wird es gegen Ende 2009 eine erste Headline-Tour von Rival Consoles geben. Dann wird es West bestimmt auch wieder in deutsche Klubs verschlagen...

‘Es knarzt, es rattert, es macht fiesen Krach und klingt manchmal so ein bisschen nach uralten Nintendo-Spielen. So noch nie gehört!’ – MUSIKEXPRESS

‘Süsse, sinnliche und verführerische Neoromantik zwischen Electro und IDM ...einzigartig!' - BEAT Magazin

‘Modern electronic music at its most interesting.
Worthy of the best underground clubs around!' –THE MILK FACTORY

‘Two words: Electro Genius!’ –BBC RADIO

‘This is an act which it’s totally cool for you to like!’ –ROCK SOUND

‘Thrilling stuff, primed for the more discerning floors...' –BLEEP.com

http://myspace.com/rivalconsoles.com

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ENGLISH Press release:

Cinematic Dance Music for the more discerning dance floors.

RIVAL CONSOLES is youthful purveyor of intelligent dance music Ryan Lee West. With his highly anticipated debut album, West, the first born and long-standing artist on Erased Tapes, has crafted an electronic record to transcend the discerning and flirt a little with the club culture of summer 2009. I–II–III–‘IO’ !

Born November 10th, ‘1985’, Ryan Lee West grew up in the small city of Leicester in the midlands of England. Fascinated by sound from an early age, Ryan chose to dedicate his time to studying, experimenting with and producing sound at De Montfort University Leicester.

West strives to humanise and at the same time emphasise entirely computerised sounds to defy categorisation in modern electronic music. Rival Consoles combines a clever and complex mix of hard-hitting beats with catchy acid melodies.

Or as he describes it in his own words: ‘Rival Consoles is a musical project where I take ideas which are cheap and processed, and combine them with rich, unpredictable patterns – resulting in music which appears commercial yet typically against commercial music at the same time.’

Earlier EP releases clearly define his progression from ‘The Decadent EP’ and the follow-up 7-inch ‘Helvetica’, where instead of X-Box vs. Playstation, classical theory meets dance. More recently West contributes three album tracks, ‘Milo’, ‘Func’ and ‘ARP’ to his 12-inch split EP with Ólafur Arnalds’ minimal-techno outfit Kiasmos.

There is more to this freshly graduated 23 year-old than meets the eye, for those not content with 4/4 beat dance floor stormers; West is fast establishing himself as both a sound designer and programmer. Having repeatedly performed at the Tate Britain Museum in London, where he drew over 2000 visitors into his unpredictable, yet detailed sound drawings ‘…using self-created sound manipulation tools in MAX/MSP and