Continuing on from his Odyssey EP released in 2013, Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles creates atmosphere and space whilst exploring waves of sound and rhythm, and the power of colour. With Sonne Ryan creates music to structure itself around a pulse, rather than the pulse being the defining point.
The title track begins with “a very subtle set of melodies that repeat almost without confidence, and then gradually give way to a huge collage of colour and power”, as Ryan describes it. Not relying on a conventional beat, it’s a prime example of how an analogue synthesiser can create the power and momentum of a rhythm section. From the distorted waves in 3 Chords, growing and shrinking, to the rhythmic waves of constant speeding up and then slowing down in Recovery, it’s the Moog Voyager, Prophet and tape delay that make up the core sound of the EP. Whilst tracks like Helios, Haunt and Think Tank see West play live drums and acoustic guitar.
“I’m often looking at art in exhibitions and I always think to myself ‘why the hell don’t I have this much colour in my work?’ The answer in part I think is down to synthesis. It is very difficult to create colour without it sounding plastic. Colour in music is both the note combinations and the actual timbre of the sounds. There are lots of instances of very colourful ambient sounds, which I took great care to create for each song, using various methods – from passing analogue synths through chains of effects to chopping up random sequences of recordings and forming tiny collages."
– Ryan Lee West