Ryan Lee West is a critically acclaimed, London-based electronic music producer, best known as Rival Consoles. Over the course of his 15-year career, the London-based electronic music producer’s work has diversified from the challenging electronic output of his early EPs to gradually become more conceptual and metamorphic: 2020’s Articulation used drawings and sketches to imagine and developed each track while last year’s Overflow explored themes of the human and emotional consequences of life surrounded by advancing technologies, including social media — and was composed for horeographer Alex Whitley‘s contemporary dance production of the same name.
West’s consistent desire to create a more organic, humanized sound often sees the acclaimed British producer often developing early ideas on guitar or piano; forming pieces that capture and evoke a sense of songwriting behind the electronics. His eighth album Now Is, is slated for an October 14, 2022 release through Erased Tapes. Reportedly featuring some of the most playful and melodic material of his catalog in some time, the album draws from music, as well as art, film, colors, shapes and human emotions.
“The title of the record Now Is interests me because it is the beginning of a statement, but it is incomplete. I like art that is open and suggestive of ideas even if they are inspired by very specific things,” West explains. “With my previous record Overflow being very dark, heavy and almost dystopian, I wanted to escape into a different world with this music and ended up creating a record which is a lot more colorful and euphoric.”
So far I’ve written about two singles off the forthcoming Now Is:
- The Autobahn-era and Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk-like album title track “Now Is,” which features a a relentless motorik pulse and glistening synth arpeggios that manage to evoke prismatic bursts of color exploding before the listener’s eyes.
- “World Turns,” which also features a relentless motorik pulse built from a propulsive bass lines, glistening synths and twitter and woofer rattling industrial thump paired with a gently morphing song structure that sees tempo and tone shifts throughout. The end result is soulful, thoughtful electronic music with a human soul and beating heart.
Now Is‘ latest single, “Running” is a deceptively simple composition centered around a single melodic idea built from a glistening synth line that subtly morphs and bends throughout. The synth melody is paired with skittering thump and a motorik pulse that propels the song towards its conclusion — a gentle fade out.
“I am very into classical music and the kind of structures and ideas they often use, and love the works which take a single melodic idea and create multiple variations from it,” West explains. “That is what I tried to do with this piece, where every single thing is a variation on the opening ten second theme. I spent over one year exploring a huge amount of variations from light to very heavy. Over much time I ended up being more inspired by the subtler, gentler variations, which allow the idea to breathe, which is a theme on this record.”