Build Buildings - Glass EP

Build Buildings

Build Buildings (New York producer Ben Tweel) returns with Glass, a concise and determined 4-song EP of songs that subtly explore time signature, rhythm and song structure, without losing sight of the melody and mood that define his earlier releases. As Textura described the sound, “If there's one thing that primarily distances Tweel's tracks from the clicks'n'cuts tradition, it's his focus on melody and song structure.... There's no shortage of whirr and click within a given Build Buildings piece, but such elements are deployed in the service of the song...that just happens to be assembled from found sounds and treated samples.”

These immediately captivating songs do just as well in the living room as in headphones, but close listeners are rewarded. Music nerds may notice polyrhythms, microtones and a gentle disregard for traditional Western 4-bar repetition, but this isn’t music that comes across as “challenging.” Hebei Victory and Honey Locust are melodic mood-setters. Glass explores the rhythms within rhythms that arise from slowly slipping loops. Cedilla’s propulsive, head-nodding beat is written in an Ableton-be-damned 7/8 time signature.

Build Buildings is perhaps most well-known these days for providing music for the Gimlet Media podcasts Reply All and StartUp, but his music has also been featured on radio, television and motion picture soundtracks (including NBC’s World of Adventure Sports; National Public Radio’s Radiolab and On the Media; and feature documentary Valley Uprising).

Artwork: Justin Stewart

 

Release date: Jan 2018

 

Reviews

  1. Merchants of Air

    New York electronic music producer Build Buildings returns with a massively enjoyable EP, containing four new and well varied tracks. Opener 'Hebei Victory' is a brilliant blend of Autechre and Miwon while follower 'Honey Locust' brings Plaid to mind. So yes, downtempo electronics with heaps of microsounds, clicks, soundscapes and poly-rhythms, exactly the way I like my electronic music. 'Glass' is an odd ambient tune which could have been on Aphex Twin's ambient collection. Finally, there's a song called 'Cecilia' which is my favorite here, a slow but immersive piece of old school electronic music. Awesome EP.

  2. Beach Sloth

    Build Buildings offers up a gentle series of folktronica vignettes on the beautiful “Glass EP”. Infused with a tremendous amount of heart, the tender tones jump, glitch, and skip amount with such a sense of play. Melodically rich Build Buildings ensures that rhythm serves an integral part of the entire collection, letting everything drift by with dreamy swirls of color. Layered into fantastic grooves everything works in unison to give a full-bodied, all-encompassing experience. Experimental while still grounded in the emotional, everything teems with life over the course of the collection.

    Gentle guitar introduces the collection on “Hebei Victory”. Brittle digital tones grace the piece giving it almost a lullaby-like quality. Shifting quite regularly everything simply falls into place over the course of the track, allowing sounds to drift off leisurely into the heavens. Attention to detail pays off enormously on the playful panning of “Honey Locust”. Headphones are an absolute must for the piece for it simply moves from ear to ear with such freedom. Purely ambient, “Glass” has a soothing meditative quality to it, reminiscent of Oval’s earlier less cluttered pieces. Easily the highlight of the album comes with the finale “Cedilla”. Perfectly embodying all that came before it, “Cedilla” messes with listener expectations, never easily settling into a groove and always expanding into ever newer terrain.

    Delicate and luxurious, Build Buildings opts for an energetic lovely take on electronics with the thoughtful arrangements of the “Glass EP”.

  3. Igloo Magazine

    Brittle and broken beats dabble through guitar flickers as Build Buildings (aka New York-based Ben Tweel) manipulates opaque ambient moments with delicate instrumentation. “Hebei” opens his latest extended player with carefully woven drones and scattered digital debris as “Honey Locust” reveals nostalgic clicks’n cuts-era fragments—its glitchier bits tangled around thin sliced melodies and detuned bells. The title-track distills and drains itself in minimalist veils, a sort of Oval versus Pole dynamic is the result where gently brushed static weaves around a solum mood. Closing with “Cedilla,” Build Buildings achieves sonic bliss—pitter-patter percussion drips above subdued dub and soundtrack-driven layers. A succinct and elevated 4-pack—Glass is a 12-minute sojourn that marries a collage of sincere organic fractals sprinkled above precise mechanical contours.

  4. The Answer Is In The Beat

    Build Buildings has been making glitchy, melodic IDM for over a decade now, but only seems to have surfaced with a few small releases and comp appearances. This brief EP on Audiobulb sounds like windowpanes cut into different but still functional shapes, arranged into sounds. Bright and shining, reflecting everyday realities into different contexts. There’s only 4 songs and none of them last long, but it’s all calm, thoughtful, detailed, and uplifting. “Cedilla” features slightly harder beats than the other tracks, but being hard isn’t what this is about.

  5. So What

    Flessuosi riverberi che muovendosi leggeri ammantano con disarmante immediatezza. A dispetto della sua ridotta durata lascia una lunga eco il nuovo lavoro del producer newyorkese Ben Tweel riuscendo in meno di dodici minuti a condensare una breve ma estremamente sfaccettata immersione in un microcosmo fatto di articolate strutture ritmiche e fragili modulazioni melodiche.

    Si comincia dalle ribollenti frequenze dell’irregolare danza di particelle sintetiche di “Hebei Victory” per ritrovarsi nel ricco vortice sonoro della luminosa e brillante “Honey Locust” dalla cui ruvida scia si passa alle frammentate pulsazioni di “Glass” che sembrano voler scandire un tempo in costante trasformazione che si protrae ulteriormente nell’obliquo tracciato della conclusiva crepitante “Cedilla”.

    Fugacemente suggestivo.