Build Buildings :: A Generation of Books (Audiobulb)

A pleasant sounding collection that ultimately proves unchallenging and transient in that it moves across your sonic field to other places without really sticking.

Build Buildings :: A Generation of Books

A Generation of Books by Build Buildings could be called “happy ambient.” Employing little more than short rhythms of small brittle sounds looped and processed into tidy packages, Ben Tweel has created this album for ears unknown. It’s a pleasant sounding collection that ultimately proves unchallenging and transient in that it moves across your sonic field to other places without really sticking.

Equal parts glitchy with simple drones and the aforementioned loops of small sharp noises, the entire affair comes across like Marconi Union after one espresso too many. All the songs are short which doesn’t allow for an overstayed welcome nor perhaps full development of music. It’s an album of dreamy, evanescent, mesmeric beats and loops but little of it sticks as the sounds wash away. SND seems to make more compelling and memorable tracks with less. Just because you can dump a bunch of samples of yourself hitting tins with chopsticks doesn’t make your music good.

It’s strange how much it sounds like something released 10-years ago in the early days of DSP and laptop electronics. A Generation of Books owes a clear and transparent debt to early glitch such as Autechre and Fennesz but truly sounds like a missing album from Opiate or perhaps a Markus Popp (Oval) album done with Boards of Canada. It’s nice but there’s nothing really new here.

It’s not that the album is terrible or unlistenable. I could imagine my elderly parents enjoying this as background music. “Earth Of The Fish” is a bit like that uninspired Oval album from a few years back of deconstructed guitars. “Demba” has a nice tribal rhythm underpinning the glitchy bits. “Tea Tree” contains loops of piano’s stretched, pinned and pitch-twisted around. ”Filament’ has a nice deep groove to it among the stuttering, chattering bits.

The ultimate issue with A Generation of Books is that Tweel has made an album emblematic of this generations reputation as producers of disposable, forgettable electronic music over ten years too late.

A Generation of Books is available on Audiobulb.

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