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Build A Development with a Grid of Streets and a Shopping Center Heart

Bringing together the cold machinations of micromanaged metropolitan living and the warmth of the living, breathing human experience, Build is the urban planner of an electronic landscape that will get under your skin.


Released: 17 August 2021
A Development with a Grid of Streets and a Shopping Center Heart

By refining and distilling the ambient soundscapes of sister project Causeyoufair to their most emotive base ingredients and overlaying a soft rhythmic urgency, musical architect Build plies a trade not dissimilar to Autechre around Tri Repetae – a period of relative accessibility. Intricately structured beats and bleeps propel and flutter in the higher registers, while warm synths rest gently beneath them with a fuller sound and less movement. The resulting sense of space and separation draws you in, immersing you in the gap between worlds.

Build presents this release as a “well-planned micro-glitch urban landscape created for the convenience of suburban commuters”. It often feels like the emotions that such a corporate ideology tries to suppress through the sheen of modernity in the top end are squeezed out through the mournful harmonic content that is the music’s underbelly.

‘A Protective Plastic Coating’, for example, is heartbreakingly gorgeous. The fact that its title makes that sentence sound ridiculous highlights the disparity that presumably forms the central concept of Build’s music. Elsewhere, songs like ‘Harbor Surface’ are more faceless, carrying less emotional content while still providing rewarding, ambient-soaked chill-out electronica. Perhaps sometimes the architects of our ambivalence must be allowed small victories.

Though much of A Development follows a cohesive and easily grasped rhythmic and melodic sensibility, some tracks stray from the template. The stuttering percussion of ‘Hit Ring’ (including what sounds like a light switch) stumbles over itself as the most abstract track here, though even this eventually mutates into an unexpected, jaunty groove. Later, ‘H Edit Af 1’ is a welcome boost in tempo, with synths that remain understated as pumping drums give it the drive of a synthwave track, breaking away from the more languid and atmospheric cuts.

With a generally inconspicuous sound, A Development might fly under the radar as background music. But give it your attention and you’ll find it an unassumingly mesmeric release.

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