Rival Consoles Untravel - how to make with DRC
Depending on which side of the fence you are on, ‘intelligent dance music’ can push your buttons in one of two ways. Whether you lean in to the chin-stroking, appreciation of its subtle complexities, whilst you sip the latest craft beer from your very exclusive local micro-brewery, or whether you choose to dismiss its layers of pretentiousness for something much more down-to-earth to dance to, it can polarize opinions.
A fine line between the two, In the spotlight today, treading that tricky, techno tightrope is Leicester born, London based DJ and producer Ryan Lee West, better known as Rival Consoles. The very first artist to appear on the ‘Erased tapes’ record label, (Though under the pseudonym Aparatec) West has been releasing a steady stream of emotive synthesizer music since 2007. Erased Tapes proved to be the perfect home for his avant garde sound, keeping good company surrounded by label mates such as Kiasmos, Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm.
Today we’re looking at the 2018 track ‘Untravel’ taken from Rival Consoles’ fifth studio album ‘Persona’. Touching the fringes of abstract, it almost has a certain Brian Eno quality to it, especially pieces like ‘An Ending (Ascent)’, but with just enough of a repeating chord progression to provide a sense of direction to its movement. In terms of mood or feeling, if 2020’s suitably woke society were tasked with categorising it, they might say that it’s non-binary/mood-fluid, and they wouldn’t be far off, as West puts it himself “It is neither happy nor sad, certain or lost; but between states. A sort of unknowable nostalgia”
In this week's DRC Sound Design Tutorial, Lucas dissects the track’s highs and lows, and as a bonus, we get to enjoy a behind the scenes peek at his personal vocal warm up technique!
We were more into Amigas than consoles,