Album Review

Burial – “Rival Dealer” – [Hyperdub]

Thurston Hunger   3/5/2014   A Library, CD

For Burial, is the goal to make gritty music popular, or popular
music more gritty? I’m not sure of the singing sources here, but
many feel like they are taken from the American Idol songbook.
Auto-tune idoru on the opening title cut promise to “love you
more than anyone”, later digital cheeze whiz synth turns up on
“Come Down To Us” as part of an Enya wedding cake march. Why
am I not running away? Because all of this happens while your
ears are filled with crackle and some deep bass spackle. A
constant drizzle of rain and effects, make the cinematic world
of “Blade Runner” seem bright and picnic perky compared to
Burial’s invisible film here. A variety of spoken sources give
this EP a dialog revolving around identity, emerging from the
shadows, the dark. It is capped by a thump and a sample-bot
saying “You Are Not Alone” then silence before Lana Wachowski’s
*acceptance* speech is reprised “Years later I find the courage
to admit that I am transgendered and this does not mean that I
am unlovable.” But Lana also talked about rejecting the binary
split of sexuality, and perhaps that is parallel here to Burial’s
popular/outsider sounds. There’s not much dancing footwork here
beyond the opening police chase adrenaline pump, but Bill Bevan
Devoid still makes some solid steps if not club dub ones.
Music montage with a surprisingly caring message.

-Thurston Hunger

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