YouTube Sessions: Rival Consoles

Now in its seventh year, London’s Erased Tapes has established itself in its own unique niche. Label founder Robert Raths has explained the mission statement as exploring the “…cliff between electronic and acoustic, the pop and the classical world”, in order to create, “…something exciting, something current and something that is of our time”. Across more than fifty releases Erased Tapes has done just that, with a roster of artists including the likes of Nils Frahm, Peter Broderick and Michael Price – who all sit at the juncture of this electro-classical crossover. Sat slightly on the periphery of this crossover is Ryan Lee West, who works under the name Rival Consoles.

Inspired by youthful dalliances with IDM and Dance music, he’s grown to forge a sound that’s based around a careful fusion of analogue equipment and real instruments. The resulting music has been electronically based but focused in textures rather than beats, placing West in his own rarefied air on this already standout label. His latest offering for the label comes in the form of the imminent six tracker ‘Sonne’. Made of tunes to get lost in, its West’s finest dive into absorbingly colourful ambience thus far and marks his creative zenith.

Here with a selection which sits nicely outside of the ordinary, West serves up some thumping live Rock, a look at the mind of a genius and a peek inside a very expensive grand piano…

Queens of the Stone Age – ‘Regular John’ (live)

Love this song so much: heavy, driving and cool. This particular live version is incredible and full of energy, they also play an alternate breakdown section, which is amazing!

Weezer – ‘Say It Ain’t So’

This reminds me of growing up, playing guitar in bands round with friends. One thing I love about this is the solo is really moving and tragic and then they cut to the band playing hackie sack: perfect juxtaposition!

NYO perform Anna Meredith’s HandsFree – BBC Proms 2012

This composition is incredible both sonically and visually, it’s fun and explores layering of rhythm and timbre in an inspired way. You can really see how the music spreads through the players which is so enjoyable.

Aphex Twin – Windowlicker

Being a teen in the late 90’s/early 2000’s I got to see very inspiring music videos on MTV2. This was one of them, and it will stay with me forever probably coz the song and video are so unique.

Johnny Cash – ‘Hurt’

Capturing a legend looking at death in the eye, whilst reflecting on his incredible life. The shot of his hands on the closed piano is perfect symbology of something coming to an end, that he will play music no more soon. Very moving and genuine.

Monkey News

It was either this or Rockbusters – I mean this is the funniest thing on YouTube! Total madness and anger and insanity – one of my favourite moments is “you’re ill!”

Man of Steel soundtrack – Sonic Sculptures – Hans Zimmer

Amazing but short look at Chas Smith’s sonic sculptures, which are incredibly rich and perfect for big supernatural sound design. Why build sound in a computer when you can have fun hitting metal objects?!!!

Albert Einstein – How I See The World

Einstein! It’s always amazing to watch a documentary about a genius who saw the world differently – we romanticise them and rightly so!

Steve Reich – Clapping Music

Clapping music – here you can see the simplicty and genius of steve Reich’s clapping music – as one rhythm does not change but a second rhythm slowly adjusts where it starts in contrast to the original, creating amazing poly rhythms. Incredible.

The making of a Steinway – A Steinway and Sons factory tour narrated by John Steinway

How to build a Steinway! Who doesn’t like to see how great things are made? This is a really beautiful clip of the craftsmanship and care put into making a complex instrument like a grand piano.

‘Sonne’ is out on Erased Tapes 15th September, you can pre-order it here. He then plays an instore at Rough Trade East September 17th, before later going on a North American tour.