Album Review

Burial – “Street Halo / Kindred” – [Hyperdub]

incognito   4/24/2013   A Library, CD

2012 was a busy year for Burial with 4 releases, including collaborations with Four Tet and Thom Yorke (but we won’t fault him for that). This double EP is a combination of 2011’s Street Halo and 2012’s Kindred. It’s a haunting, emotional, like looking at a rain-worn polaroid through a chainlink fence under an oppressive gray sky. All his signature sounds are here – the distant vocals, the breathy synths, hissing vinyl and rain drops. Unmistakably, this is Burial – and though it has so much in common with earlier releases, it’s still fresh and new, always pushing new directions. Street Halo is the most “accessible” track on the album. The rest of the album treads along minimal techno, 2step garage, speed garage, downtempo, broken beat and future dancehall. I’m continually amazed by how innovative his sound is, and yet how it all fits together, as if pieces of a big melancholy tapestry; he knows exactly how to create a groove, add and subtract elements and leave the listener with a desire for much more. The “Street Halo” half is more melodic, mellow and straightforward while “Kindred” seems to be a logical follow up of the “Truant/Rough Sleeper” split; it’s darker, moodier, and the tracks seem to evolve and change in a similar way. Throughout you get hit with detached female vocals and these epic synths that feel like the heyday of 90s rave, but you’re immediately pulled back to earth, to a certain dark reality. This music incredibly emotional and very beautiful.

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