As "Berlin" fires up, you realize these songs are not imitations of specific places. Though the metallic clink of Berlin techno is somewhere in the track's quick-footed thrust, you'll have to use your imagination to fill in the rest of the picture. Other correlations on Places are more logical: Devyanin serves up footwork for "Chicago," touches on relaxed hip-hop for the Thai resort town "Phuket" and conjures up images of velvet-rope VIP nightclubs with the glossy deep house of "Moscow." But if you have any idea what he's getting at when it comes to "Ottawa," then you've got one better on me. On "Novosib" and "Bodø," he settles on vibrant garage in the vein of Brackles, seemingly ignoring the concept altogether.
In a way, Places works the same way memory does. Just as you only remember certain parts of trips and vacations, Devyanin's musical interpretations of these cities are filtered through his own experiences. Beyond that, you've got the usual Pixelord hallmarks: an iridescent synth twinkle here, a fat midrange bassline there, some pitched-down R&B samples. At times it sounds a little complacent or even dated (no one really needs to sample Destiny's Child's "Say My Name" in 2015). The result isn't always as exciting as the concept makes it out to be, but Places is still a fun record by an excellent producer.