Rival Consoles – Sonne EP (Erased Tapes)

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It should be no surprise that Ryan Lees West (Rival Consoles) supported Luke Abbott on a recent tour. Their sounds are equally part of the reborn ‘analogue house’ trend along with Nathan Fake, Wesley Matsell and others. The turn away from DSP, virtual synths, and tightly sequenced, overproduced sounds has brought back a shimmering, gritty, sound that reaches back through early still-maligned 90s trance to Cluster, Rodelius and their kin.
West’s last EP Odyssey was much grittier than Sonne.

On Sonne he reaches for the summer sunrise melodic progressions that bubbled up in the mid 90s with Salt Tank, Oakenfold, Sasha & Digweed. In fact when the guitar comes in midway through Haunt, it is all the Ibizan hands-in-the-air pills and thrills of Salt Tank’s widescreen epic Eugina/Pacific Diva (1994 but endlessly re-released/remixed). Recast, perhaps unwittingly, 20 years on by Rival Consoles, though, those epic progressions have become degraded, drained of colour and to the point that they now stand as a counterpoint to the excesses that they used to represent.

Seb Chan

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Seb Chan founded Cyclic Defrost Magazine in 1998 with Dale Harrison. He handed over the reins at the end of 2010 but still contributes the occasional article and review.

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