Nonotak and Rival Consoles at the 2017 Gray Area Festival
On Saturday night of the 2017 Gray Area Festival, Nonotak and Rival Consoles join us for an evening of dancefloor-oriented tracks and light and sound installations. Nonotak will be bringing their internationally renowned, architectural work for the first time to San Francisco, "Late Speculation," while Rival Consoles will bring a live audiovisual set all the way from London! The show will open with cerebral sounds and visuals by Oakland-based musician BLEIE in collaboration with Gray Area's own Chelley Sherman.
NONOTAK studio is the collaboration between the illustrator Noemi Schipfer and the architect musician Takami Nakamoto. Commissioned by the Architect Bigoni-Mortemard to create a mural in the lobby of a public housing building in Paris, NONOTAK was created in late 2011. In early 2013, they start to work on light and sound installations, creating an ethereal, immersive and dreamlike environment meant to envelope the viewer, capitalizing on Takami Nakamoto's approach of space & sound, and Noemi Schipfer's experience in kinetic visual. They presented their first audiovisual installation at the Mapping Festival in may 2013. In summer 2013, NONOTAK come up with a performance, LATE SPECULATION, where they are the creators and contents of the project. NONOTAK have been commissioned by the Mapping Festival ( GENEVA ), EM15 ELEKTRA / MUTEK ( MONTREAL ), la Nuit Blanche ( PARIS ), Roppongi Art night ( TOKYO ), Axcess Art Gallery ( NEW YORK ), Stereolux ( NANTES ), Playgrounds Festival ( TILBURG ), Mirage Festival ( LYON ), Vision'R, Insanitus Festival ( LITHUANIA ), FUZ Festival ( PARIS ), Lunchmeat Festival (PRAHA ), KIKK Festival ( BELGIUM ), Nokia by Lumia ( ISTANBUL ). Their work have been exhibited at institutions and galleries including Tokyo Grant Hyatt Hotel, l'Opéra de Lyon, Batiment d'Art Contemporain de Genève, Theater de NWE Vorst, La Fabrique, Pavillon Carré de Baudouin, Le Générateur.
Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles presents his expressive new album ‘Persona’, set for release on 13th April 2018 via Erased Tapes. “My music is generally inward looking. I like finding something about the self within music, that doesn't have to be specific but maybe asks something or reveals something. This record is a continuation on the self through electronic sounds. Like Legowelt once said ‘a synthesiser is like a translator for unknown emotions’, which I think sums up what I am trying to do. 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.” Recorded at his studio in south-east London, ‘Persona’ benefits from Ryan’s exploration of a dynamic production process that combines analogue-heavy synthesisers, acoustic and electric instruments with a shoegaze-level obsession with effect pedals. A greater depth of emotion and confidence can be heard across the album. From the deconstructed movements on‘Unfolding’ that starts the album with a snap of delayed snares, the apocalyptic drones of the title track and thundering drums in ‘Phantom Grip’to more restrained ambient feels of ‘Dreamer’s Wake’, ‘Rest’ and ‘Untravel’. The latter transverses six beatless minutes of undulating melodies representing “a limbo space, a feeling of ennui, of not really ever being known to others and others not ever really being known to you”. ‘Be Kind’ reveals a musical connection with fellow Erased Tapes artist Nils Frahm, with its minimal approach and improvisational nature. On the more complex sounding ‘I Think So’ Ryan aims to replicate a colour collage with sound. Like a musical kaleidoscope, a flashing and convoluted mass. Written after he saw Slowdive perform live last year, ‘Hidden’ builds from whispers to landscapes of controlled noise. In an interview with XLR8R magazine, Ryan explains: “once you start trying to make a sound loud, then you turn your back on thousands and thousands of sonic possibilities. One of the best things to do is to start a track with a really quiet, weak sound.” Taking this idea to its ultimate conclusion, ‘Fragment’ closes the album as an innocent sounding ambient piece, almost nursery rhyme like, yielding time for reflection on how the persona has changed. ‘Persona’ follows the success of a series of releases — the ‘Odyssey’and ‘Sonne’ EPs, long player ‘Howl’, and 2016’s mini album ‘Night Melody’— that saw Ryan mature into what Pitchfork has called a “forward-thinking electronic musician with his own ideas about sound”. Atypical of instrumental-electronic music, Ryan has achieved a signature sound that’s unmistakably identifiable as Rival Consoles. Going beyond typical electronic music production, Ryan defines it as “songwriting with an electronic palette of sounds.
Based out of San Francisco, Sarah Bly produces and performs hardware and computer based experimental electronic music under her ancestral Norwegian name BLEIE. Inspired by xenofeminism, nature, and the practice of shikantaza, her sounds range from mercurial noisescapes and meditative drones to a more cerebral and singular techno. Her work is both a personal sublimation made public, and an attempt to mutate predominant narratives. As such, there is a purposefully organic flow to her music, in which elements are allowed to bleed through the composition like watercolors.
Chelley Sherman is a virtual artist from San Francisco. Her work is governed by patterns and texture which harness the neural systems that underlie enthrallment in darkness, ritual, reverie. Her practice consists of experiments in extended realities, virtual and augmented, as well as interactive sound installations and AV performances. Using computational methods and researching cognitive processes of perception, she explores the relationship between light and sound and resulting psychoacoustic effects in spatial sonic architectures and landscapes.