In what's now becoming a sub-festive winter tradition, Burial delivers his first 12" of material since the wonderful, graceful and empathetic set of dubstep ambient tunes that came on Rival Dealer. He recently caused chaos with Zomby on "Sweetz", but this slab is Will Bevan through and through -- "Young Death" is a gorgeous abstraction and "Nightmarket" compliments it beautifully.
Vinyl 12" £7.99 HDB100
180g vinyl 12" on Hyperdub.
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It's awhile since I've heard anything from Burial that I've enjoyed as much as 'Untrue' and personally I'm not that excited over the Christmas EP format he's been utilising for the last few years but 'Young Death' comes as close to shivering the same bones that made his first two records so groundbreaking. If you've had half an eye on the internet over the past few days you'll be able to have listened to it for yourself so probably don't need my yakking but for the record it is a slow burning slab of churning atmosphere with some gloriously evocative synths underpinning the usual grab bag of sampled voices. There are lots of neat little cuts and scratches embedded in the tune and half way through it disintegrates into static which slowly re-emerges into a whole new section which has more of the cut ups and stop starts he started tinkering with on 'Rival Dealer'.
'Nightmarket' is initially less impressive lacking the memorable atmospheres of 'Young Death' though in return you get more of what I'm going to term prog-step that Burial has edged towards on recent recordings. It's a sprawling beat less piece again with a break in the middle before it returns with a rather catchy rave-y synth line. There's something about it which keeps (horrifyingly perhaps) reminding me of a kind of out there re-hash of Faithless's 'Insomnia' but instead of a populist rave anthem it has some serious synth action over it's second half suggesting Burial has joined the throng of '70s synth worshippers.
To sum up: 'Young Death' is superb - classic Burial. "Nightmarket' is an interesting multifaceted sprawl. But Will lad...come on. An album per chance?
5/10 Elliot Customer review, 1st December 2016
As a big Burial fanboy I was as excited as anyone when the rumours spread about this being released 'accidentally' on Black Friday. I had hoped he had recovered from the River Dealer EP blip, and returned to the Truant / Rough Sleeper (and everything before) triumphs, unfortunately it's not the case.
I feel like Burial used to have the magic touch on the samples front, weaving in and out of garage beats to take everything to another level (see: Unite), but on Young Death they feel especially clunky and grating (and not in tune with the rest of the song). If Clinton's ketchup analogy (see Untrue review) holds true, this is like having HP sauce on your Chinese, not even a little bit is good. Nightmarket sets the atmosphere for something to happen (similar to Rough Sleeper), but it never does (unlike Rough Sleeper).
The point the 80's drum machine sound kicked in on 'Hiders' was a turning point in Burial's music for me, the recent output makes me think 'is this a masterstroke?' or is it actually just average, with some stock thunder and 'bullets dropping on the floor' samples chucked in at will.
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