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Album Review: Rival Consoles – Howl

 
By on Thursday, 22nd October 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Words by Nick Roseblade

Rival Consoles Howl coverRyan Lee West, aka Rival Consoles, has been off the radar for a while. As hoped, this period of self-imposed exile has been spent writing and recording new music for his third album ‘Howl’, released on Erased Tapes Records. It features his trademark blend of acid-tinged electro-house that is as perfect for large nights out, as it is for reflective nights in.

The album opens with title track ‘Howl’. Galloping beats and some nice bass wobble before the melody kicks in. On the surface, this appears to be a simple song, but there is a rich tapestry of melody and refrains bubbling below the surface. The real highlight is the solo in the middle: sounding slightly like Captain Nemo going mental at a party on the Nautilus, it’s over before you know what’s hit you, very much like Nemo’s attacking tactics.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eKAHGf0GMc[/youtube]

At times, ‘Afterglow’ sounds like a musical version of Rice Krispies, as there are three main elements to the song. The snap is the fizzing bassline, Crackle comes in the form of that Nemo-type synth and Pop are the tight beats. Combined, they offer a slice of euphoria and one of the albums standout moments, next to the title track. If ‘Afterglow’ is a night out, ‘Pre’ is the morning after. There is a tinge of melancholy to the proceedings. The beat has the same timing and throbbing intensity as a bad headache the morning after and night of debauchery.

‘Walls’, like the title suggests, offers up dense slabs of bass, while synths scurry about beneath them. At times, the story of Jericho comes to mind, how horns brought down a wall that an army couldn’t: as the song progresses, the bass is lessened and the synths are brought up in the mix. ‘Low’ starts off with a jazz feel; rim shots and riffs offer up a suggestion of space and flux, while West inserts synths in the space to create a sense of movement.

‘Morning Vox’ is another stand out track. Euphoric manipulated vocals samples make up the barebones of the track, while sharp tight beats back it up to keep things moving and progressing. Three quarters of the way through, a dextrously plucked acoustic guitar makes a rare appearance. Its inclusion makes a nice change of tone and texture. There are hints of Orbital at their prime in here too. The only downside of ‘Morning Vox’ is its timing. It has summer anthem written all over it, as it’s an upbeat and euphoric masterstroke. The album closes with’ Looming’. Like ‘Walls’, its title is apt. As the song progresses you get the impression it’s stalking you, as West’s deft production raises the tension one notch at a time.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz65-wPSdg4[/youtube]

While West has made an album that is an enjoyable listen, you do get the feeling that you’ve heard it all before. If you are into electronic music, you can help but notice flourishes and touches that are reminiscent of established artists work. Producers like Dan Snaith, William Bevan, Kevin Martin and a slew of others working in bedroom studios cast a spectral shadows all over ‘Howl’. their presence permeating each track. If you walked into a room and ‘Howl’ was playing, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was in fact Caribou or Daphni, at times. There are post-dubstep flourishes to the album that help ‘Howl’ win you over immediately, but again these seem borrowed, and after repeat listens they start to grate and you want West to deliver some fresh ideas, rather than rehash old ones.

‘Ghosting’, for example, has a Hyperdub 2007 feel to it. Everything about it feels slightly murky and impenetrable, and it sounds great. But it’s 2015, and things have progressed. Throughout the album, downbeat breakbeats work exceedingly well juxtaposed with the faster synth loops that help add syncopation. While there is nothing wrong with ‘Howl’, the compositions pulse and throb in the right places, and the production is as tight as ever, it’s just we’ve heard it all before and in some instances, we’ve heard better.

7.5/10

‘Howl’, the new album from Rival Consoles, is out now on Erased Tapes Records. For past coverage on West and his music, including this interview editor Mary did with him at SXSW 2015, go here.

 

Rival Consoles / October 2015 UK Tour

 
By on Friday, 25th September 2015 at 9:00 am
 

Ryan West, better known by his electronic stage name Rival Consoles, will be going out on his first proper headline tour next month. He’ll be touring in support of his newest and third album ‘Howl’, which will be released on the 16th of October on Erased Tapes. (Buy the album directly from the indie label here.) He’s currently in Colombia at the moment for MUTEK Bogota – yes, it IS unfair that electronic artists get to go to such exciting destinations – but I imagine he’ll be in fine form for his tour in October, which includes a stop 2 days before the album release at the esteemed Corsica Studios in London on the 14th of October. Tickets to all the non-free shows listed below are on sale now.

Catch all of my previous coverage on Rival Consoles on TGTF, including my interview with him on the last day of SXSW 2015, right this way.

Saturday 10th October 2015 – Manchester Texture
Sunday 11th October 2015 – Teesside Sound It Out Records (free in-store show at 4 PM)
Monday 12th October 2015 – Glasgow Hug and Pint
Tuesday 13th October 2015 – Brighton Green Door Store
Wednesday 14th October 2015 – London Corsica Studios
Thursday 15th October 2015 – Bristol Start the Bus (free show)
Friday 16th October 2015 – Leicester Firebug

 

Great Escape 2015: Day 2 Roundup (Part 2)

 
By on Thursday, 21st May 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

Part 1 of my Friday roundup at the Great Escape can be found here.

At the recommendation of my host in Brighton to check out the Old Market stage west of the city centre during the Great Escape 2015, I had hoped to see XL signing Empress Of play, as the schedule indicated two shows on the Friday. However, when I scanned her Twitter and Facebook, she made no mention of leaving the States for the Great Escape 2015 so all I can assume is that she must have cancelled at some point but the schedule was never amended. It then fell to my new SXSW 2015 buddy Rival Consoles to give me the electronic oomph I needed that night. I am proud to say I navigated the bus system in Brighton like a pro, arriving outside a hospital and finding St. George’s Church easily from there.

Rival Consoles @ St. George’s Church (Erased Tapes)

After arriving, I was really happy to be seeing a different kind of space than what I was used to in Brighton. The only other real church space I’d ever seen a show at in town was the Unitarian Church, and that was only briefly in 2013, where Marika Hackman held the room spellbound with her voice and guitar. St. George’s Church was a whole ‘nother matter: in addition to being a beautiful space with stained glass windows, you could sense the air filled with the power and glory that only a place of worship can offer, and that was before a single note was played.

Rival Consoles at the Great Escape 2015

Rival Consoles got to work on his consoles (no pun intended), thoughtfully turning knobs and pressing sequencer keys to craft several of his masterpieces live while a ever changing display of dots and lines pulsated on the projection screen behind him. The acoustics, as you can imagine for a cavernous, sparsely furnished space like a church, made for incredible music. It was, in an word, awesome. When he was finished, the applause was deafening.

Hooton Tennis Club @ Shoosh (BBC Introducing)

Then it was back on the bus into town, where I snuck in for the last couple of songs by Hooton Tennis Club, who were playing the BBC Introducing stage at Shooshh. Everyone I know it seems has gone gaga over their Heavenly Records’ laid back single ‘Jasper’, but I’m still not convinced, and even less so after I saw them play. Having seen astronomyy there the night before, I know the sound system is decent, but all I could hear was loud, loud guitars and even louder drums, all muddied. Guess this music just isn’t for me.

Slaves @ Coalition

Unfortunately for me, I arrived at Coalition minutes too late to be admitted for the press guest list. To be honest though, getting in halfway in the middle of Slaves’ set list was sufficient for me to get a flavor of what the live Slaves experience is like. They were scheduled to play at the NME showcase Saturday night at the Corn Exchange but somehow I just felt that Coalition would be the better place to see them at, and I am pretty sure I was on the mark with this one. Coalition is a dark, sweaty basement venue, just the right kind of atmosphere for the wild antics of punk rockers Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent.

In the vein of Brighton’s own Royal Blood, they’re a duo who really don’t give a monkey’s, but there is a comedic element to their music. It’s not all doom and gloom. These are guys who clearly never take things too seriously, as during the airing of recent single ‘Feed the Mantaray’, a man dressed in a manta ray suit jumped into the crowd and crowd surfed. I couldn’t help but laugh. The moshing and shouting reached a fever pitch during songs ‘The Hunter’ and ‘Cheer Up London’, and during set closer ‘Hey’, both members somehow found themselves crowd surfing, shirtless, to the crowd’s utter delight. What the hell did I just witness? I’m laughing about it now just typing this out.

Slaves' Manta Ray at the Great Escape 2015

Having not been tempted at all by any of the headliners – I’d already seen Kate Tempest at SXSW 2015 and had my fill of her in Austin and I had no interest in seeing Alabama Shakes, Skepta or JME – I thought I should probably see at least one big name I might not get a chance to see otherwise. The VEVO UK-sponsored Wagner Hall, where other friends caught young Derry singer/songwriter SOAK the night before, seemed to be just the ticket.

George the Poet @ Wagner Hall (VEVO UK)

There is a lot of buzz about George the Poet at the moment, and how much of that comes off of Kate Tempest making social commentary through the spoken word can be quite the debate in certain circles. There is, however, no denying that the man has incredible charisma as a performer, which is crucial for any entertainer and even more so if your craft is dependent on the word. George Mpanga has an interesting take on things, having graduated from Cambridge despite being talked down to by a teacher who said he shouldn’t even have tried to apply. But his mother believed in him. And in response to support the disenfranchised and in his words “if I can embody a viable alternative, the idea that it might be OK to stay in school, to aspire to university, then people will hear what I’m saying”, he writes to educate but also to entertain.

George the Poet at the Great Escape 2015

The live experience begins unusually with hip hop performer Shelz the Dancer and Mpanga is joined onstage at times by blonde sidekick and sometimes support act Tom Prior. Generally, Mpanga’s messages lean towards the positive and when they don’t, they seek to inform those who might not know or understand circumstances because, as we all know, knowledge is power. The only moment I cringed was during his song ‘Gentleman’, where he describes how girls with low self-esteem sleep around because they’re looking for love in all the wrong places. I get the sentiment and where he’s trying to go with it but the story he tells seems to suggest he took advantage of such a girl and it’s hardly a sympathetic angle, is it?

The Cribs @ Wagner Hall (VEVO UK)

The headliner for the night were the Cribs from Wakefield, whose mere headline appearance to an essentially hometown crowd at Live at Leeds 2015 threw everyone in town off schedule. The trio, ubiquitous live since the release of their latest album ‘For All My Sisters’ on Sony in March, hadn’t played in Brighton for several years and naturally, a good portion of Great Escape 2015 wristband holders were chomping at the bit to see them play live. I give props to the security at Wagner Hall, because they kept a close watch on how many people were allowed into the performance space, ensuring it was not dangerously crowded. Which you can imagine is a major problem when a band like the Cribs perform, a band that notoriously invites and incites wild moshing at their shows. You’re probably wondering why someone who has claustrophobia would venture into a rowdy mosh pit late on a Friday at a music festival, but I have to say, having not seen the Cribs live in 3 years, I was curious. (Although I stood my ground pretty well, I do wish to thank the photographers and their gear near me, as I basically dove for cover into their crowd when things got to be too much.)

Ryan Jarman of the Cribs at the Great Escape 2015

While songs from ‘For All My Sisters’ seemed requisite given it was the band’s most recent release, in general it was the much older material – in particular, ‘I’m a Realist’, a particularly boisterous version of ‘Mens’ Needs’ and the Johnny Marr-era ‘We Share the Same Skies’ – that really got the crowd riled up. I don’t know if it was a matter of where I was stood in the performance room, but the audio didn’t sound as crisp and good as I would have expected a VEVO-sponsored venue to have. Make no mistake, the lighting rig and other production values at Wagner Hall made for a classy experience, I was just really surprised that the sound wasn’t any better.

At the end of the day though, it wasn’t so much as how good the Cribs sounded to their fans as how physical and mental their performance was. This was evidenced by the antics by the Jarman twins at the end, with both Ryan and Gary seemingly all too eager to destroy their guitars by launching them directly into their amps. If that isn’t rock ‘n’ roll, I don’t know what is. Below you can watch VEVO UK’s recap of Friday’s performances at Wagner Hall, including interviews with the artists by Radio 1’s Phil Taggart and a fleeting glimpse of yours truly.

Update 10 March 2020: the video is no longer on YouTube but can be viewed at Daily Motion through here. I watched the whole thing again to see where I was: I’m staring in awe at the stage at 5.30, just as the video is concluding.

 

SXSW 2015: Blackjack London and Association of Independent Music showcase at Latitude 30 (Friday night part 2) – 20th March 2015

 
By on Wednesday, 1st April 2015 at 4:00 pm
 

The first half of my Friday evening at SXSW 2015 is here.

That somewhere else was back at Latitude 30 for the British Music Embassy’s Friday night sponsored by Blackjack London and the Association of Independent Music (AIM). I arrived just in time to see the second half of Only Real‘s set, which was clearly already causing havoc. Good havoc, I’m quick to point out. It was still raining outside, but as soon as I’d put down my brolly to take my camera out, an Only Real reveler grabbed it and was sashaying down the front like out of a scene from Singing in the Rain, before he grabbed my hand, twirling me around a couple times. I burst out laughing. This turned out to be one of the most surprisingly fun sets I watched all week. Listen to ‘Yesterdays’ off his new debut album ‘Jerk at the End of the Line’ released this week, and just go with it. You’ll thank me later.

Only Real at Blackjack London AIM showcase at SXSW 2015

After the set, I asked one of the photographers, “is everyone in here drunk or stoned?” She said quite possibly both. Either way, it doesn’t matter: what came across was how well Niall Galvin’s unique hybrid of hip hop style lyrics about more carefree days and the washy, psychedelic guitars and accompanying instrumentation was going over with the Embassy crowd. I had been extremely sceptical when Martin first wrote about him in 2013, figuring this guy from South London couldn’t be really this weird and this happy-go-lucky. It must be an act…

Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong. After he kindly paused for photos and chats with a whole slew of new fans he gained this night, I chatted with him briefly to set up a full interview on Saturday afternoon, and he is just about one of the loveliest musicians I’ve ever met: genuine, kind-hearted, positive and yes, real. We need more positive people like him not just in this business, but the whole world. Keep doing what you do, man.

East London grime artist Ghetts had to sadly cancel his appearance on this night, replaced by Stockport’s Blossoms, who played here Wednesday night as part of the BBC Introducing / PRS Foundation showcase. They explained to me after that they’d be asked to stand in for Ghetts and were more than happy to get another SXSW gig under their belts. Watching the young band from greater Manchester a second time was nice, as I got to introduce their music as brand new to a girl who became a new fan. Always happy to facilitate!

Blossoms at Blackjack London AIM showcase at SXSW 2015

As the notes of the scorching ‘Blow’, the band’s first-ever single that was released in 2014, fed into my mind a second time, I sensed something very special. Whiffs of brilliance reminiscent of great ’60s psychedelic bands, along with the pop sensibility of their local legends Oasis in the choruses, are what make this band great. If they can keep this level of melody and songwriting up, their debut album is sure to be a hit.

Following Blossoms were Boxed In, an electro rock/pop band led by keyboardist / synth-playing Oli Bayston. I missed seeing him open for fellow Moshi Moshi labelmates Teleman on their UK tour in October. As his set unfolded, I was getting a distinct, eerie feeling of deja vu, like I’d known this music in another life. But I’d never seen them play before. How could this be possible? Hmm…

Boxed In at Blackjack London AIM showcase at SXSW 2015

When they trotted out ‘Mystery’, everything clicked and I had a eureka moment: the single has been played on 6music a lot as of late, so I knew all the words. Since I was a singer in my former life, I have the tendency to sing along – loudly – when I know the lyrics to a song, and when Bayston noticed this, he broke out a wide grin. I imagine he was thinking, “wow, an American knows my music!” The dancey vibe afforded by Only Real continued on into the Boxed In set, with Bayston’s band soundtracking an all out dance party to usher in the small hours of Saturday morning in Austin in British disco style with the driving rhythms of tracks like ‘Foot of the Hill’.

The electronic aspect of Boxed In served as a nice segue into the more intellectual style of electronic musician/producer Rival Consoles, who I’d seen play in the much smaller Plush Thursday night. The most intriguing difference in Ryan L. West’s show Friday night at Latitude 30 compared to the one at Plush: the backdrop was a dynamically generated visual show determined entirely by the user he set the task to, West explained to me in our chat Saturday. That means every single night, you’re going to get a completely different visual experience. How’s that for unexpected art?

Rival Consoles at Blackjack London AIM showcase at SXSW 2015

There is probably no greatest place for a British musical artist to play at during SXSW than Latitude 30, and West was completely caught up in the moment as he crafted his music for the evening. That’s one thing about electronic music I love: it can, conceivably, go on forever, morphing and evolving, with different pieces of equipment being called in play or put aside, depending the maker’s mood. With a stagehand telling West he only had a minute left to play, he ended his set on a buzzy high note.

 

SXSW 2015: Paradigm Agency showcase at the Parish and Ben Sherman / UKTI showcase at Latitude 30 (Thursday night part 2) – 19th March 2015

 
By on Tuesday, 31st March 2015 at 4:00 pm
 

My Thursday evening review was getting too long, so I broke it up into two parts. To read part 1 of my Thursday evening, go here.

Then it was on to underground DJ / musician haven on Red River, Plush. It is the electronic music fan’s dream: an unpretentious room where you can be as close and practically personal near the guy (or gal) on the decks in the back if you want, but it’s small enough that the thudding beats and the smooth grooves ooze into every nook and cranny of the place, there’s no bad spot in the house. You couldn’t have asked for a better place for my first time to see Rival Consoles (Ryan L. West) perform. Dressed appropriately in a Moog t-shirt, West was ready to knock some socks off and blow some minds.

I would be hard pressed to adequately describe West’s set. Through bleeps, blips, thuds and buzzes (bleeps, blips and/or thuds stretched), Rival Consoles an immersive experience and one you have to be there to experience, and it changes every night because West wants it to be a dynamic experience and not one that is limited by what you hear on his records. I also want to point out that his music, at least what I witnessed at his two shows in Austin at Plush and at the British Music Embassy the next night, weren’t solely about building crescendos and big drops.

Rival Consoles at Plush, SXSW 2015

Certainly there were those moments. But the overall feeling I got was like being before a master craftsman making his art for us, fresh. This isn’t in your face electronica ala deadmau5 or Tiesto, nor is it electronica that is so smooth, you can pretty much guess what is coming next, or just be lulled into a sense of tedium. That’s what I liked about seeing Rival Consoles the most: I was excited about the unpredictable. (Listen to my great conversation with Ryan in Austin here.)

So it was with great disappointment I had to leave early to make my way to the Parish ahead of Pennsylvania lo-fi rockers The Districts‘ set at the Paradigm Agency showcase. I wasn’t taking any chances, knowing this place was going to be completely rammed later for them and the Vaccines who followed. Perth, Australia’s San Cisco, already a household name here in America, had no trouble assembling a packed room, with plenty of punters either going wild for the young indie pop band’s music or at least bopping their heads approvingly from side to side. ‘Fred Astaire’, whose video was nominated for a 2013 ARIA (the Aussie equivalent to a BRIT award), ended their set on a schmaltzy note.

Most American bands I know of dress exactly like this – t-shirts, denim jeans, trainers – regardless of the style of their music, but in the case of the Districts, they’re the kind of band where the dress actually makes sense, because with the growly, fuzzy rock they make, you expect they must have just rolled out of a parent’s garage earlier in the day. While ‘Suburban Smell’ is a stripped back, not completely fond ode to the cookie cutter town from where they grew up, it still bears the scuzz of their sound that’s as unkempt as frontman Rob Grote’s hair. This is the appeal of their album released last month on Fat Possum Records, ‘A Flourish and a Spoil’: unpretentious, rough around the edges rock ‘n’ roll.

The Districts at SXSW 2015

The irreverence of ‘Peaches’ “in the Vatican / and oh I don’t want to hear about the bird on the hill” with its droney guitars, the oozy, woozy rhythm of ‘Young Blood’ the “need for a little romance”; the desperation of Grote’s yelps in ‘Chlorine’, with its punishing drums and oddly comforting, homey guitar bridge: it was all better than I ever could have expected. They came to DC a week later but I dared not see them again, since I’ll have this snapshot in my mind of seeing them in Austin, down the front at the Parish, as they bashed away at their kit with reckless abandon. I’ll always remember this night.

From that high, I suppose there was nowhere to go but down. Already excited about having seen the Districts, I was keen to get an equally awesome dose of the Vaccines. The Districts finished roughly at 11:40 PM, which should have given the Vaccines an ample 20 minutes to set up their gear, which included what seemed like overly lengthy guitar and drum kit soundchecks. As I waited, real estate down the front became more precious, as I felt the air being squeezed out of my lungs. For a small girl as myself, it’s not a comfortable situation to be wedged in between two larger, taller people, even if they are girls.

I gave the Vaccines another 11 minutes to sort themselves out before I was over them, extricating myself from the Parish crowd before sprinting down 6th and rounding the corner back to Latitude 30. If I wasn’t going to get my fill of ‘Handsome’ tonight, I was going to get the next best thing, seeing one of my guitar gods Carl Barat with his band The Jackals, who I assumed I’d miss entirely in Austin and this year, as it had been announced the previous week that their American tour had been cancelled. That was probably one of the best split-second decisions I made all week.

I got down the front of Latitude 30 right in the midst of the band playing a song whose words floated down my tongue with ease (“monkey asked the mouse before / if she could love anybody more than he…”); it wasn’t until I came to the next morning talking to Carrie, who had seen them Wednesday afternoon at the Floodfest showcase at Cedar Street Courtyard, that I realised it was the Libertines’ classic ‘Death on the Stairs’. It was such a long time ago…yet it’s still so great.

Carl Barat and the Jackals at British Music Embassy, Ben Sherman UKTI showcase at SXSW 2015

Though I must have arrived after they played most recent single ‘A Storm is Coming’, Carl and co. treated us to several songs from their debut album on Cooking Vinyl, ‘Let It Reign’, such as ‘War of the Roses’, the jaunty ‘Glory Days’ (to which the whole crowd seemed to be snarling the words back at Barat) and more melancholy LP closer ‘Let It Rain’. Ben Sherman and UKTI, you did good booking this band and the next.

So then it was left to the next band to end my night on a high note. Although I’ve caught them live in Newcastle (May 2013), DC (March 2014), and the night previous in Austin, this would be the first time for me to see Public Service Broadcasting at the British Music Embassy and in their wide screen, multimedia splendour. For anyone who hasn’t been to SXSW before, I really must explain that seeing a band at Latitude 30 is a treat: the sound system is usually (99%) on point and the lighting is usually fantastic too(read: you can see everyone on stage!), which means you have pretty much the optimal environment to see your favourite British band.

Public Service Broadcasting at British Music Embassy, Ben Sherman UKTI showcase at SXSW 2015

And you can’t get anymore British than Public Service Broadcasting, can you? After witnessing cuts from the new ‘The Race for Space’ album the night before, tonight I could take a couple of snaps, then just get into their music for the fun of it. With its doom and gloom sounds of air raid sirens and Churchill samples, ‘London Can Take It’ shouldn’t be such a joyous occasion, should it? It probably sounds strange coming from a Yank, but I think given the emotional context, understanding that Britain is still standing how many decades after the Blitz, we (meaning the human race, not just Britons) can look back on those times with respect and admiration because we’re still here generations later.

It’s not that PSB is necessarily glorifying war; they’re giving praise where praise is due, to the people who came before who allow us to be who we are today or, in the case of ‘Everest’ for one, showed us that we as humans could go beyond what we had thought were our mortal limitations. In that regard, ‘The Race for Space’ is similar. This is music for the thinking person. And if we can funk out to ‘Gagarin’ while celebrating the first man in space too, why not? Oh SXSW 2015, you were wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.

 

SXSW 2015 Interview: Rival Consoles

 
By on Monday, 30th March 2015 at 11:00 am
 

Paris Hilton aside, it’s pretty much a given that all electronic musicians and producers, based solely on the amount of equipment and software they must familiarise themselves with and become technological adepts with, are technical geeks. Yet one of the wonderful, unexpected awakenings I had this time round in Austin for SXSW 2015 was meeting and getting a chance to chew the fat with three great thinkers in the electronic world. I had a great chat outside the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30 Saturday afternoon with Erased Tapes artist Ryan L. West, who records and produces under the name Rival Consoles, and we chatted about his music, as well as the state of electronic music and where it’s going.

Is the recorded form of electronic music stale? Ryan seems to think so, agreeing with Barcelona musician / producer beGun that it’s super important for an electronic artist to make a bold statement when performing live and giving the audience more than what can be found online and bought as mp3s and albums. He also tells me about how he hates the term “EDM” and we discuss the lack of women not only as punters at electronic artists’ gigs but also the lack of women in the genre; coincidentally, our conversation predated this Pitchfork op-ed on the same topic Ryan posted on his Facebook by 2 days.

Not all of our chat was contentious. Ryan explains how he tried to turn on its head the usual “crass and crude” nature of electronic music as a medium in his EP released last year, ‘Sonne’, in in which he strove to bring not just colour but lightness and brightness to his music. He also tells me about his dynamic stage projection and light show he showed off at the Blackjack London / Association of Independent Music (AIM) evening Friday night at the British Music Embassy, which turns out to be at the mercy of whoever’s hands he wants to leave it with on the evening. Interesting? Without a doubt, yes. Listen to the whole conversation below.

Read my preview of his SXSW appearances in my Bands to Watch piece here.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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