Rival Consoles - Persona
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2018 Ratings: #55 / 789
User Score
Based on 213 ratings
2018 Ratings: #234
Liked by 3 people
April 13, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Erased Tapes / Label
Microhouse, IDM / Genres
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The Skinny

A challenge that Rival Consoles' Ryan Lee West takes up with gusto and earnestness. Persona is a gloriously potent success story, and a testament to his talent that he's managed to make one of the warmest and most reflective albums of the year so far, electronic or otherwise.

A.V. Club

Persona is uneasy listening, with heavier rhythms and more fragmented melodies than West deployed on previous works like Howl and Night Melody, yet it’s equally engrossing. It leaves a deep psychic impression—a truly “arthouse” album that begs repeated revisiting, to explore its many conflicting faces.

With a mix of analogue synths, warped acoustic instruments and an unmatched passion for effects pedals, West has produced easily one of the most vivid and soul-stirring electronic albums of the year.
The 405

Layers of synths gleam and emit what sounds like distant alien transmissions, gradually coaxing almost overwhelming levels of euphoria to the surface, creating the kind of urgency when you feel overwhelmed by the sudden memory of someone who has long since passed through your life.


Rival Consoles certainly holds a blueprint to the dreamworld contained within Persona.

Loud and Quiet

This is West at both his most majestic and his most miscellaneous. Here, he’s constantly toying at the surface, plumbing depths, propelling tracks forward with a craftsman’s touch.


For body and mind ... this is a powerfully affecting release, one that cements Rival Consoles as one of the brightest jewels in the heavily studded Erased Tapes crown.


For his latest album Persona, West nuzzles deeper into these soft, billowy ideas while slowly, happily pulling on a stray thread in his work that is helping to unwind his aesthetic.

The Line of Best Fit

On Persona, this sound has once again taken a step forward in craft. Though the direction of the music hasn't changed substantially, Ryan Lee West's 4th album as Rival Consoles is subtler and more intricate than past work.


The album edges Rival Consoles a little bit closer to some of West's Erased Tapes labelmates, but he hasn't gone fully neo-classical yet. Instead, Persona is another exquisite album of immaculately produced techno which strikingly examines abstract emotions.

‘Persona’ is West’s fifth full-length release as Rival Consoles, and perhaps his most accomplished to date. Cinematic in scope and delicately constructed, the album grows from warm, organic techno (‘Persona’) through ambient electronica (‘Dreamer’s Wake’) to the insistent synths, drums and drones of ‘Hidden’. Lovely stuff.
Not seeing much out of this project, just IDM at its most basic and microhouse for the critics. Guy's pretty good at masking in acoustic instruments with the electronic and finding those moments were slightly rewarding. Hidden goes for a bit.
The future is electronic and it albums such as Persona that will be revisited by future generations trying to grasp which smaller releases influenced their favorite artists.

This album has a subjectively awful start, that nearly lead to me not giving this album a proper listen, but once Memory Arc in all its lo-fi glory caught up to my soul, I realized that oh shit, I was in for a brillant IDM album.

My love for IDM is evergrowing, it truly is intelligent and challenging and rewarding, and ... read more
We are so lucky to have Erased Tapes.
Worth a listen
'Persona' is a haunting electronic record that creates a tense atmosphere through its spacious melodies and droning, layered beats. This is what electronic music should be - a reflective, escapist journey for the listener.
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Year End Lists

#66/Piccadilly Records

Track List

  1. Unfolding
  2. Persona
  3. Memory Arc
  4. Phantom Grip
  5. Be Kind
  6. I Think So
  7. Sun's Abandon
  8. Dreamer's Wake
  9. Untravel
  10. Rest
  11. Hidden
  12. Fragment
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Added on: April 3, 2018