We’ve been blessed with a full track from the magical, musical mind of Burial. This time coming off of Keysound Recordings, it takes all of 5 seconds to become perfectly apparent that Burial is back and doing what we all love him for. The moody bass, straddling the lines between breaks, real dubstep (pay attention kids), UK garage comes on strong, with his signature ethereal vocals shimmering into existence a little over a minute in. It’s not new ground, but I could not be happier this is out, to remind people that stuff can actually sound like this. It rambles along, pulling the feeling of loss & almost confusion into the vibe of the track, and before you know it, it’s gone. A 2:41 track is tiny compared to most of his work, but at the same time, it’s still manna from the heavens. Even though it is always raining in Burial tracks, so don’t look up unless you want to get bass rain in your eyes.
Burial is one of those artists that finds you at a certain point in your listening history and shakes up your worldview. The ethereal, melancholy beats, haunting melodies and astonishing compositions first showed up in 2006, when his debut album off Hyperdub records completely shook up what 2-step, future garage & dubstep could sound like. The sounds just weren’t comparable to what others were sounding like at the time. A personal favorite of mine, Archangel off of his second album released in 2007 is a track that everyone needs to hear before they die:
However, this post isn’t about Burial’s previous (mind-blowing) work. Burial released a two single EP this week, to the glee and adulation of anyone who listens to UK garage, chillstep or downtempo. Whenever Burial puts something out, it gets swarmed immediately. People might’ve been disappointed that it was only a 2 track EP, but the two tracks total over 25min of sound. This is a treat in time for the holidays, almost perfectly timed to totally fuck with everyone’s “Best of 2012” lists. Truant continues the storied tradition of Burial tracks approximating a stylized walk through the rain wearing a hoodie. This quiet backbeat melts into the frayed vocals and silky samples. As always, the production value is through the roof. The track, 11:45 in length, feels like the first half of an EP, especially with the oscillating beats, the melodic progressions and the continued focus on inducing dreamlike states.
Rough Sleeper definitely breaks past that melodic quiet chillstep and pushes some more uptempo beats and jarring sounds into your awareness. Nothing abrasive, buzz-sawy or brosteppy, but there is a strength behind the bluesy & ethereal track that Truant just didn’t have. It provides an excellent compliment to the previous feel. Almost a wake up call from a dream. The speed kicks up, and while still scratchy and ethereal, there’s a groove to them that you can really get into, especially if you’re into where he’s going with it.
I mean, there’s really not that much that needs to or even should be said about the work. This is one of the artists that changed a sound a lot of us take for granted now, doing what he does best. I’ve gotta say I like the long-form track format, as it makes it a lot easier to get in deep with a track, and not have to keep switching up basslines 10 times in 5 minutes. Great stuff, but, of course, it couldn’t have been anything else.