See: Rival Consoles drops the darkly pulsing choreography of ‘Monster’ ahead of tomorrow’s album

Rival Consoles' Ryan Lee West, photographed by Özge Cöne

WITH a sooo hotly anticipated album, Overflow, out in the racks tomorrow, December 3rd, for Erased Tapes – the label originally set up specifically to bring Ryan Lee West’s musical vision to the world – Rival Consoles have released one final teaser, and that’s a ten-minute, monochrome filmed dance piece for the album track, “Monster”. Take a dive below.

Overflow is, of course, a collaboration with choreographer Alexander Whitley’s dance company and is the soundtrack to his contemporary dance production of the same name.

The production premiered at London’s Sadler’s Wells in May, with a European itinerary to follow from next spring; whereas Rival Consoles will also be on musical migration, with a European and American tour also due to begin next year.

Exploring themes of the human and emotional consequences of life surrounded by data, Overflow echoes the concept of social media, advertising, marketing companies and political factions exploiting our data to gain wealth, political advantage and sow division. Result in all our heads: informational overflow. Key reading for the project was based around the contemporary philosophical work Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism And New Technologies Of Power, by Byung-Chul Han.

“Monster” pulses and unravels in wavering ululation across and underneath a sonar beat, big sweeps of sound and mechanoid percussive interjections. It has the breadth and scope of a classical composition, married with the icy, alien beauty of Richard D James in Selected Ambient Works mode. And isn’t that why we love Rival Consoles, clutch him to our collective heart?

“I’m very excited to share the video to ‘Monster’, which adds a completely new dimension to this project as it morphs and bends with both music and dance to create an otherworldly space the viewer can escape to and explore,” says Ryan.

Dan Medhurst was the man who brought the “Monster” short film to life. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to collaborate with Rival Consoles and Erased Tapes again on such an interesting and original project,” he says.

“For me, it was a very different approach to film-making from the way I’ve worked in the past and it was a great chance to explore new creative ways to convey the original feeling of the piece.

“There are many layers to this project, with it originally being born out of Alex Whitley’s amazing dance production, the very striking light object by Children of the Light, and of course Ryan’s incredibly dark and emotive score.

“The challenge was to bring a new incarnation to the project in this film, but to still convey the original message of the performance whilst creating something new, different and engaging.

“It’s definitely the most intense and dark project I’ve worked on in some time. But it was really quite cathartic actually, having spent some time during the pandemic reflecting on how damaging social media and big data can be to us and society, and also personally choosing to limit the amount of time I engage with it,” he adds.

Rival Consoles’ Overflow will be released by Erased Tapes digitally, on limited edition vinyl and on CD this Friday, December 3rd; you can order yours here or get yourself down to your neighbourhood record emporium.

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