Overflow (Erased Tapes)
Overflow is Ryan Lee West’s seventh album as Rival Consoles and was composed for a contemporary dance performance by Alexander Whitley. Both the choreography and the album attempt to explore the way data, in particular, our data as generated on social media is used by advertisers, politicians, and other nefarious actors to divide and control us.
While the performance of Overflow may be a powerful rebuke to the all-seeing algorithms that drive our digital lives, Overflow the album, as a standing alone work, isn’t. Instead, it feels like a loose collection of caustic, claustrophobic electronic soundscapes that never really go anywhere, aside from the gothic Salem-like flourishes of Touches Everything and the stuttering I Like.
Overflow uses repetition and monotony as a critique of the way we use social media, tapping away on our latest doomscroll, and while this is ideologically interesting and relevant, it doesn’t lend itself to much of a musical experience.
words SAM EASTERBROOK
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