With Jamaican accents and a sleek brushed coating comes Rival Consoles latest, London-based Ryan Lee West’s fifth full-length on Erased Tapes since 2009. After being intrigued by his 2011 effort Kid Velo, and confused by the less effervescent, extremely quirky Howl, it sounds as though Rival Consoles has found itself, a surefire stylistic voice, in Persona (LP/CD/DIG). The beats are as fluid and strident, and the atmospheres come off toylike at a moments notice. On Sun’s Abandon there’s something of artificial Swiss organ origin, hemmed by a repeating Björk-like vocal cut — the track is a bit flippant and sweet, and uses great sense of pause for drama.
A very polished production, the artist goes for chilly modulation over cheap rump-bump thrills, and where he gets it really right is in the low-end, the breaks and pauses. Though I’d rather hugely lengthier tracks that revel in the tenor of space, these dozen will serve a larger chasm of listeners, especially on standouts such as the effectively hypnotic track Untravel. By using minimal effects and smaller range synths this chirping chillout is what so many need in our daily demanding digital divide.
FOUND HIS GROOVE: It seems more like a meditation, like watching a butterfly erratically flutter on a partially sunny day, than a typical techno track. And this moodiness continues on the equally gorgeous Rest, that uses a simple metronomic click leading into a more percussive beat. This is not a flawless record, though exemplifies a maturity and is far more exploratory than his previous work. The play between up and down tempo makes this a perfect fit on this record, right down to the aptly named bouncing-ball-like finale of Fragment.