The UK-based electronic musician Ryan Lee West will return this year with a new LP for his project Rival Consoles. Recorded at his studio in South-East London, Persona is due out April 13th on Erased Tapes. Taking inspiration from Ingmar Bergman’s film of the same name, West was struck by an image from the opening credits in which a child reaches out to touch a woman’s face on a screen as it flickers between different visages. Compelled by this idea of the Persona, the divide between a person’s perception of us and our own, West’s upcoming album is animated by this search for a meaningful center. Combining analog synthesizers, and acoustic and electronic instruments with processing via effects pedals, West has taken the Dutch electronic musician Legowelt‘s adage that “a synthesizer is like a translator for unknown emotions” to heart. He explains:
“I think all these emotions we have make up our persona. So in a way, by finding new ones, you alter or expand your persona. And that is what I want my music to try to do. I deliberately aimed to be more sonically diverse with this record. I wanted to experiment more. I wanted to create new sounds and new emotions.”
“Untravel” is our first listen in on the upcoming Rival Consoles record, and today we watch the Cologne-based artist/designer Misha Shyukin‘s brilliant new video for the track. Discussing the visuals, Shyukin explains that they were inspired by West’s music and the ideas behind it. The director says,
“We were exploring ways of visualizing the feeling of being lost and ennui, experimenting with various techniques of distorting the footage in order to intensify the experience of a disoriented feeling in a strange and unknown landscape, yet maintaining a constant forward motion while examining the desolate world.”
Like hopping a ride on a Voyager mission to Mars, these images depict a lonely and desolate planet. Following a glitched camera view across wide, lifeless panoramas that bloom with eerie light reveals a lone figure on the tortured landscape. Like the sole survivor of some failed space mission, this small form against the dizzying vistas definitely imparts that feeling of existential isolation–and the effect is only intensified by Rival Consoles’ beatless and introspective soundtrack.