Rival Consoles - Articulation Music Album Reviews

Producer and composer Ryan Lee West continues his practice of turning real-life sketches into ambient techno as ever-shifting moments dip, dive, and refuse to settle. 

Producer and composer Ryan Lee West, aka Rival Consoles, makes ambient techno with a volatile soul. His recent records take the same analog approach he developed on 2016’s Night Melody, composing the album using real-life sketches to inform his writing, almost like a self-induced synesthesia. As West explains: “With a pen and paper you can compose and rethink ideas without technology getting in the way.” In this human method of re-attachment, West’s diagrams breathe life into digitized worlds, separating mechanical creation from pure design.
His latest record, Articulation, continues in this practice and rewards complete engagement as ever-shifting moments dip, dive, and refuse to settle. The shaky “Forwardism” begins almost with a dubby industrial soul, but when glimpses of strings shine through, the whole thing becomes slung out, with a marching beat carrying you to catharsis. On the operatic “Vibrations On A String,” melody lines arc in and out of the song at odd angles, and jittering LFOs are cut through by saw-toothed synths into a track that could fill every corner of a symphony hall.

Since his last few records, the production has become knottier and more entangled, layering staccato notes with glimpses of field recordings, flourishes of breakbeats, and sweeping effects. At times, Articulation’s grandiose ideas are deflated by an overwrought execution, particularly on the title track, where the stuttering synths feel out of place with one another. “Still Here” feels slightly insubstantial, revolving around a circular melody which, although pretty, feels vacant. But there are moments of hopeful clarity. The circularity of “Sudden Awareness Of Now,” in contrast, sounds like one epiphany after another; the sustained aquatic notes of “Melodica” carry the weight of Boards of Canada in The Campfire Headphase era. These little ambient gestures are small, but they burn the brightest. The magnetism of Rival Consoles lies in the chaotic warmth created through an intrepid play on rising and falling, conjuring a sense of turmoil that seems to become louder and more definite with each release.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Rival Consoles - Articulation Music Album Reviews Rival Consoles - Articulation Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 Rating: 5

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