Rival Consoles – 'I try to create with my music the sensation of narrative'
- David Pollock
- 6 June 2018
Ryan Lee West catches up with us about his outer-spacial sound and his set at the Museum of the Moon exhibit
Ryan Lee West seems nonplussed by the news that he'll be appearing in Glasgow beneath Luke Jerram's 'Museum of the Moon' exhibit, a scale model of the moon itself which has been installed in the Mackintosh Queen's Cross Church. It will, I reassure the man who has recorded under the name Rival Consoles since 2007, be perfectly suited to his music, in particular the mesmerising, outer-spatial electronic explorations of his recently-released fourth album Persona.
'I try to make my sound seem more real,' he says of the aesthetic which lends his synthesisers a warmth and emotional depth. 'When you look closely at a building or a car, you notice that it's not perfect, that there are bits of dirt, of damage. Every layer of my music tends to be slightly degraded or imperfect, which I think makes it sound a lot more realistic when it's been put together.'
Initially recording as Aparatec, the Leicester-raised, London-based producer was the first artist to release music on his friend Robert Raths' Erased Tapes label when he was starting out. 'My sound has completely shifted from the beginning. When you start making electronic music there are so many distractions; first of all you have to learn the instruments and the equipment, and then you have to learn what you want to say.'
For West, that meant five years of exploring things and making 'bad music' until he felt more confident. 'Now I start off a new record with lots and lots of improvisation until I find the sound I want. I'm obsessed with human drama and simple story, and I try to create with my music the sensation of narrative, even if that's just a kind of raw emotion. Or at least that's what I go looking for, and often I'm lucky enough to find it.'