London-based musician and producer Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles shares an evocative video animated by María Medem for his latest single Vision of Self ahead of the release of his new album Now Is, out on Erased Tapes on October 14 — followed by a string of European live dates.
Over the course of a critically acclaimed fifteen-year career, Rival Consoles’ music has diversified from the challenging output of his early EPs to gradually become more conceptual and metamorphic, such as Articulation (2020) which used drawings and sketches to imagine and develop each track, to Overflow (2021), which explored themes of the human and emotional consequences of life surrounded by advancing technologies and social media.
Now Is marks a new chapter in an ongoing quest for refinement and evolution. More playful and melodic, the album draws from much experimentation in minimalist songwriting and seamlessly blends synthesisers and acoustic instruments. “There are some pieces that are influenced quite strongly by the isolation and anxiety of these times. There are also pieces which are more optimistic and vibrant, which I think is a consistent attitude of my records, as I want art to express many aspects of life.”
Describing the latest single, Vision of Self, West states;
“The title of the music reflects this sense ‘what is the self?’: it is both knowable and unknowable, it is always changing as we get older and as we pass through experiences, our relationship with ourselves, with others, with nature, dreams, love, hurt, desire, repair etc. I like the dream-like nature of thinking about this and how electronic music can echo that dream-like quality in an abstract yet identifiable way.
I have been a huge fan of María’s work for a long time and have wanted to work on something together for many years, but I am so happy that it happened on this particular song, because I feel her style is perfectly harmonious with the nature of this piece of music.
This piece is important to me because it is both repetitive but is also always changing in a deceptive way. There is something dreamlike about the waves of colour that come and go, overlap and weave around each other. I love it when drama emerges out of non-dramatic things, so I spent a long time writing this piece of music and slowly letting it reach a point where that made sense, and letting it create its own little world.”
The video’s creator, María Medem adds: “The idea behind the whole animation is exploring, without judgment, how we change through life and how what we live shapes us, while we shape others as well. I’ve used plenty of symbols to try to evoke atmospheres and feelings without the need of being too explicit and to give some room to the watcher to let those symbols have a personal meaning for them. In the animation, some actions, like throwing a stone, doesn’t have an immediate consequence, but with time, it does have an effect. That’s how through the whole story, different elements, in principle with no relation with each other, are finally connected.”
14.10. Caldaro (IT) — Kaltern Pop Festival
30.10. Berlin (DE) — Betonhalle
05.11. London (UK) — Printworks
11.11. Utrecht (NL) — Le Guess Who? Festival
20.11. Warwick (UK) — Warwick Arts Centre
22.11. Leeds (UK) — Belgrave Music Hall
23.11. Manchester (UK) — The White Hotel
24.11. Edinburgh (UK) — Summerhall
27.11. Norwich (UK) — Norwich Arts Centre
· watch Vision of Self
· pre-order the album on 2LP · CD · DL
· book tickets
Recorded at Arcadia West, Los Angeles, the American avant-garde composer William Basinski crafted an eerie piano rework of Japanese voice artist Hatis Noit's piece Inori, taken from her acclaimed debut Aura ahead of Piano Day 2023.