Truant/Rough Sleeper was mystery-shrouded producer Burial's 2012 despatch (seems so long ago now) and comprises of two long form tracks that clock in at a mighty 25 minutes plus. Like a lot of his music it seems to capture the ghosts of post rave and UK garage and utilise them in two episodic suites which contain a variety of moods and tempos. Some of his more experimental work for sure but as necessary as anything he's done.
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Willie B strikes again! This time with his bid for Christmas number one. Hehehe. Gotta admire the fact that despite his success this lad still chooses to hide from the limelight and let his music do the talking. There’s no massive surprises here in terms of mood and aesthetic but then I didn’t really expect any. The overall composition of his tracks has however evolved.
Kicking off with ‘Truant’ an extended slow motion downbeat tune full of longing, that dusty “shit do I need to wipe the needle” sound and some soulful female vocals. It continues his explorations into the ghosts of rave post UK hardcore / garage blah blah blah etc. With lots of stopping and starting. Each time coming back in introducing new elements. On first listen I’m not immediately blown away but the nuances of Burial’s music worm their way in upon repeated listens. Sure it’s got that trademark feel of walking through a darkened city in the early hours and a subtle growling bassline. There’s even a dark trancey fairground synth swirling about the second half. As for the beats they remain fairly functional for the most part, forming the skeleton upon which all the expertly realised atmospherics are hung. Towards the final quarter of the track the bassline comes into its own but soon vanishes before you can get your Troop trainers and Chipie jeans on. Overall the track is quite fractured and is in some ways like a single suite broken down into several pieces. Towards the end things become more unhinged and experimental and wander into filthy drum and bass terrain.
‘Rough Sleeper’ is on the flip and kicks off with bittersweet synth then booms with super fat UKG bassline. Again this has some stop-start action and some tricks thrown in which make it sound like the needle has skipped off the record ending abruptly. Things switch and shift in at dynamic speed as though he’s just itching to get his next idea into the mix yet the track maintains a coherent flow. If I’d not been aware that it was two tracks then I could be forgiven for thinking it was an EP of vignettes. He’s almost compressed and condensed albums worth of ideas across the 12”. No loop hangs around for too long. In this sense it’s perhaps not as immediately accessible as most Burial material but I think it’s maybe a necessary evolution of his sound in order to keep things fresh.
9/10 lee 2nd April 2014
Nothing is conventional in Burial music. Like it or not,it is surely not left unnoticed. Bevan's extended plays act powerfully in order to create a pleasant musical effect. 'Truant' and 'Rough Sleeper' are two amazing suites, each featuring different tones,hues and details and the South London producer is able to show the way they gradually connect. The individual movements that comprise those two brilliant pieces include minimal 2-step, sophisticated soulful samples, ambient and industrial atmospheres... But it's through the use of silence that the artist fairly succeeds in giving his tales a unified structure by changing musical tension across the compositions. The pause could also be seen as an extremely dynamic moment and, above all, as a big source of innovative ideas. Bevan is an intelligent musician: he captures the fragility and the fleeting nature of things and time. The light within the darkness and the silence of the void are aesthetic concepts so that the empty spaces are fundamental for organizing the architecture of the EP.The proper distribution of pausing times reflects the fragments of memory or perceptions that make us experience more wonder than anxiety. Fragments of memory to be recreated even for few minutes and suddenly fading out. A nice and experimental journey.
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- Truant/ Rough Sleeper by Burial
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