Place is the second New Amsterdam release from Build, “a new quintet that straddles the increasingly permeable line between chamber music and instrumental rock” (Time Out New York). Described by The New York Times as “a stone’s throw from chamber music,” Build plays with the precision of classically trained musicians, yet rocks its original body of music (composed by director Matt McBane) like a band, drawing influence from minimalist chamber music, instrumental rock, modal jazz, American fiddle music, experimentalism, and film music.
Having convinced indie bloggers that “the Next Big Thing in indie rock is chamber music!” (The Deli), and firmly occupied its own territory with “malleable music which doesn’t distinguish between classical and rock” (Los Angeles Times), Build expands this space with Place. A nine-track, hour-long album, Place reflects the sophistication and cohesion of a band that has played together for more than four years (contrasted with less than one year together at their debut). And while McBane’s through-composed selections make use of the band’s standard instrumentation as featured on their first album, this second effort allows for more flexibility – breaking the quintet down into a trio subset at times, and replacing drum set with vibraphone, concert bass drum.
McBane sees Place as containing three distinct chapters, each made up of three tracks. The first chapter begins with groovy pizzicato composite melodies in “Behavior Patterns,” rock licks reminiscent of McBane’s memory of the San Diego punk scene in “Dissolve,” and a reflection of a cinematic bike ride from Brooklyn to Manhattan in “Ride.” The second chapter, a cello/piano/drum trio, moves through New York City claustrophobia in a relentless 7/8, through an homage to Debussy and Portishead, and ultimately terminating in a Reichian process-driven piece. The album concludes with expansive siren-like strings and a funereal march in “Cleave,” filtered and manipulated acoustic sounds, and a refreshingly meditative, ecstatic release. McBane hopes that “after multiple listenes the interrelation of the tracks and an overall journey/narrative/arc of the album will emerge.”