Published Aug 03, 2016As 2015's Howl was enjoying critical acclaim in electronic circles across the globe, its composer Ryan Lee West (a.k.a. Rival Consoles) was experiencing a sea change involving how he would approach his craft. Exiting a 13-year romantic relationship while wrapping up his most ambitious tour to date, the London-based musician began spending his newly vacant evenings writing music and experiencing the nightlife.
The resulting mini-album, Night Melody, is the result of these subterranean journeys, as West began to focus on the emotional elements of each song rather than their technical execution. At six tracks and 34 minutes, Night Melody isn't entirely dissimilar from his first three full-lengths, as West still employs jittery, stop-start rhythms underneath textural and shimmering synth beds, but "Pattern of the North" and the title track feel less tactile and uniform, as melodies freely ebb and flow throughout. Tracks like "Johannesburg" and "Lone" show West's synth phrasings sounding much more exploratory, telling entire stories solely through their free-form movements.
On Night Melody, West has created a touchingly personal piece of art that feels more like an addendum to Howl than a jarringly new chapter in his musical journey. Here's hoping he brings this ethereal mindset into his next musical project. (Erased Tapes)