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What Dubai is built on

Dubai's skylineAn unusual sound for us today – our first ever collaborative ‘live’ reimagined sound, from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The piece takes a busy street scene like many others, but our starting point for the recomposition was to consider the issues around labour camps in Dubai and wider issues about the treatment of migrant labourers.

Our aim was to create a sense of the underlying tension, sadness and unfairness that lies behind the very fabric of many of the city’s most famous constructions.

The piece begins with the ‘natural’ field recording, slowly effecting it until it becomes dreamlike and alien, and reintroducing it again at the end as we reach the end of our consideration and return to the “everything is fine” surface level of the city.

Working alongside Mark Baker of UK band The Workhouse, we recomposed this field recording from Dubai live in one sitting.

While one of us manipulated and layered the original field recording with various on-the-fly effects, the other composed overlaying synth parts to fit – within an hour from start to finish, this piece was completed.

City version:

Memory version: