Recommended by us on 19th November 2006.
This first album on Kode9’s Hyperdub label comes from the mysterious Burial. On this self-titled CD debut, Burial carves out a sound which sends the dormant slinky syncopations of uk garage, via radio interference, into a padded cell of cushioned, muffled bass, passing through the best of Pole’s Berlin crackle dub. Burial explores a tangential, parallel dimension of the growing sound of dubstep. Burial’s parallel dimension sounds set in a near future South London underwater. You can never tell if the crackle is the burning static off pirate radio transmissions, or the tropical downpour of the submerged city outside the window. In their sometimes suffocating melancholy, most of these tracks seem to yearn for drowned lovers. The smouldering desire of ‘Distant Lights’ is cooled only by the percussive ice sharp slicing of blades and jets of hot air blowing from the bass. Listen also for a fleeting appearance from Hyperdub’s resident vocalist, the Spaceape unravelling his crypto-biography. In its loud quietness, Burial takes his kitchen crackle aesthetic neither from the digital glitch nor merely a nostalgia for vinyl’s materiality. Instead, as ‘Pirates’ suggests, Burial crackle mutates the tactile surplus value of pirate radio transmissions. Burial’s mix is haunted. Echoed voices breeze in and out, on road to another time. Pirate signal from other frequencies steams in. A tidal wave of noise submerging all but the crispest syncopations. The noise is not violent, but caressing, tickling, exciting the ends of your nerves. Seducing you in.
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