RYAN LEE WEST, who creates beautiful and properly, actually intelligent dance music that folds softly across to pulsing ambience, isn’t someone to tarnish the bright beauty of his creations by overworking, scumbling away the freshness that he captures in the moment. He exalts in creating quickly.
He puts these works out as mini-albums, or EPs, for Erased Tapes; although at 40 minutes, that’s longer than a lot of albums these days and plenty of beautiful sound world to revel in.
His EPs from 2013 and ’14 respectively, Odyssey and Sonne, were compiled another year on later as a full-length release; now Erased Tapes is enacting the same ‘twofer’ treatment for 2016’s Night Melody and Articulation, from earlier this year, to be released as digital downloads and on CD, entitled, you won’t be surprised to learn, Night Melody / Articulation.
But wait: all formats will also include an extra track in the shape of a remix by the Berlin-based Japanese pianist Midori Hirano – which is available now, and which we’ve embedded for you below.
Hirano also features on 7K!’s forthcoming Ambient Layers compilation (watch for our review next Tuesday) and brings a subtle, layered gravity to a track that’s already a lovely offbeat odyssey of building polyrhythm and melodic interjection, introducing a very Berlin graininess and depth, sheets of distant sound reeling ever backward into the mix; as well as some very bright piano motifs. A pretty thing made prettier, if you will, without any overegging.
The 34 minutes of Rival Consoles‘ Night Melody were born out of working long into the night. It’s a creature of the nocturnal, unveiling and again draping its secrets in turn, while beckoning you to fall deeper inside its soundscape.
July’s Articulation dovetails in running time, making the Erased Tapes compiled release a thing of perfect balance. Its conception, we’re told, involved a more visual approach: Ryan drew structures, shapes and patterns by hand to try and find new ways of thinking about music. Its title references a piece by avant-garde composer Györgi Ligeti, for the non-traditional graphic score that accompanied it. This concept runs through the six tracks, from the acid stylings of “Vibrations On A String” through to “Sudden Awareness of Now”, rising out of birdsong heard from his studio window over seven minutes.
And now you can own the full 68 minutes of the EP with that extra and excellent remix; it’s out via Erased Tapes mid-December, but it’s available to pre-order in the here and now.