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Ambient - Released July 31, 2020 | Erased Tapes

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After being inducted into the label Erased Tapes’ catalogue with their EP Verneer (under the pseudonym Aparatec) in 2007, Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles has gradually propelled himself to the position of pioneer in his form of melancholic and spatial electronica, remixing great artists such as Clark, Max Cooper and Jon Hopkins. For his seventh album, the British producer has thrown himself into a new composition concept by drawing structure… by hand: “With a pen and paper sketch you can compose and rethink ideas without technology getting in the way, so for me it acts as a very helpful tool to refresh the process.”After hitting play, you find yourself listening to a truly interesting record, with tracks structured differently to any other electronic music track. Vibrations, for example, unwinds a downtempo and crazed house while the title track Articulation is positioned between ambient and futuristic beats à la Four Tet from his Rounds era which symbolises the concept adopted by Rival Consoles on this record. “Its structure is very machine-like, but I was really interested in how melody and sense of story could develop out of this, and it became an exploration of mathematical structures - patterns and shapes having a conversation. I love that something on paper can appear rigid and calculated, but then take on new meaning based on the context that surrounds it.”, explains West in what seems to be a new profession of faith. With such a record, Erased Tapes continue to take centre stage of the avant-garde electronic scene. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Ambient - Released April 13, 2018 | Erased Tapes

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Ambient - Released October 16, 2015 | Erased Tapes

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Ambient - Released August 5, 2016 | Erased Tapes

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Ambient - Released March 28, 2020 | Erased Tapes

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Ambient - Released November 24, 2020 | Erased Tapes

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Ambient - Released September 15, 2014 | Erased Tapes

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Ambient - Released October 19, 2018 | Erased Tapes

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Ambient - Released June 27, 2011 | Erased Tapes

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Ambient - Released July 13, 2009 | Erased Tapes

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To say that Rival Consoles' debut album is defiantly retro is to miss the point -- there is no other function for the album but to be retro to begin with, an intentional reclaiming of a time and place while still finding a way to make it something that could only be released in 2009. Thus the knowing nods of the song titles and cover art and more to a never-never land of electronics and computers in around 1981 is conditioned at all points by the strength of the beats and the deft facility of the cut-ups and squelching crunch that sole bandmember Ryan Lee West brings to songs like the title track. The unspoken downside is that West has clear enough role models to follow if not fully ape -- Daft Punk and Justice not in the least, as the heavy rock-via-synth punch of songs like "1985" show clearly. Whether Rival Consoles reaches the level of those two acts and others in terms of putting a stamp on a sound is an open question for now, but in the meantime, there's nothing wrong with simply dancing away. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Ambient - Released October 29, 2007 | Erased Tapes

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Ambient - Released February 5, 2007 | Erased Tapes

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Ambient - Released February 22, 2009 | Erased Tapes