Rival Consoles’ “Walls” Sounds Like The World Collapsing

The London producer experiments with “huge monophonic slabs” of sound.

The making of Rival Consoles' third album Howl involved, according to its press release, synths, guitar pedals, tape delay, cello, and many cups of tea. On the spacious stand-out "Walls," producer and multi-instrumentalist Ryan West pays special attention to those synths: from the ominous tones that rise like skyscrapers around your head to the skittering melodies that tickle at your limbs. West needs little more than these contrasts—there's not so much as a drum until three minutes into the track—to create enough tension to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

"'Walls' is completely inspired by seeing Colin Stetson perform live," West told The FADER over email. "I was stunned by the huge monophonic slabs of tones he was creating. They were rich and full of energy. The next day I just started trying to create huge monophonic synth sounds (hence 'Walls'—walls of sound). I juxtaposed these with very fragile synth ambience and when the distorted tones appear. It’s like a call-and-response: the ambient sounds speak and then the distorted tones rumble in response, and this makes for a very different piece of music, that has its own unique structure.”

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Head to Dummy to read more about the rustling field recording used in "Walls," and stream the track before Howl's release on October 16 via Erased Tapes.

Rival Consoles’ “Walls” Sounds Like The World Collapsing