How do you humanise electronic sounds?

It's rare that a beat originating from a keyboard can have as much of a personal affect as a warm, organic acoustic guitar strum, and electronic albums often come and go, drenched in beats but with no emotional staying power.

Making his home in the closely knit community of nu-classical revivists Erased Tapes, who are renowned for working preciously closely with their artists, Ryan Lee West, aka Rival Consoles, is the likes of Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds' glitchy, electronic cousin.

West has been quoted as saying he is "obsessed with the idea of reduction," and this couldn't be more apparent throughout Odyssey, an EP that follows his two full-length records, 2009's IO and 2011's Kid Velo. Beats intertwine and complement each other but retain enough individuality to avoid overpowering each other - it's more measured than an electronic record every normally manages.

Every element of the producer's sound is light enough to feel easy to manage, and almost poppy, but at the same time absorbent enough to draw in every ounce of your attention and emotion. At times it can feel similar to Fuck Buttons, just with all the fat removed. The downfall of many an electronic album is the lack of space to breathe, creating a suffocating mix of sounds that, although pleasing, become too much, too quickly. Odyssey manages to use as vast a range of sounds as any album of this genre, but sparingly enough to not become overbearing. It's a skill that he's perfected, and it makes Odyssey beautifully listenable.

'Rebecca' is the lightest offering - a trip of frantic, 8-bit-leaning sounds that lead into the Peter Broderick-featuring 'Soul'. The (also Erased Tapes affiliated) American's vocals are used creatively and lightly enough to avoid seeming out on a limb as the last track of the EP, and the only song with any vocals. Instead, it feels coherent and belonging with the rest of Odyssey, while also offering a positive deviation.

Rival Consoles' attachment to Erased Tapes, and the nu-classical sounds that they are leading the way in, becomes beautifully apparent when diving deeper into Odyssey. Many of these songs started out written on piano, violin and guitar when first composed by West. The organic roots of these twitchy, electronic tracks show themselves through the inclusion of traditional percussion (in 'Soul') and almost oriental melodies ('Voyager'), allowing strands of emotion to seep from electronic beats so often cold and distant.

Odyssey is the perfect minimal, computerised counterpart to a Nils Frahm or an Olafur Arnalds; all of the heart, soul and history, just played out in a different way.

Ryan of Rival Consoles fame had this to say about the album...

The EP is an exploration of different styles and forms, but at the heart of it all is the the process of minimal arrangement and atmosphere.

I don't like music to be over laboured, I like sounds to breath in space. So within each track I am searching for a hand full of strong ingredients.

The synth in 'Odyssey' has a grainy, gritty, slightly out of tune, slightly vocal sound. The beat in 'Philip' is the sound of ice cracking and camera clicks - there are noisy guitar plucks that are over-compressed and tape delay malfunctions etc. All these things add up to creating atmosphere and because they have atmosphere they can sit in a reduced arrangement.

I love it when sounds feel like they are reacting to other sounds and there is some kind of connection. I want music to sound personal. And I am on the journey to achieve that.

Selected media from the album...