on 12 March 2013
Uh, yeah, look I love this one. I agree with all the reviews already written - together they sum it up. Buy this before you can't okay? My main thing here is: Hey, Burial! Dude, can you please put Moth, Wolf Cub and the Paradise Circus remix onto CD? I can listen to that stuff on Grooveshark for free which is great but I'd really like to PAY YOU MY MONEY TO BUY THESE TRACKS SO I CAN PLAY THEM ON MY HIFI STEREO as opposed s***ty MP3's. Or, hey, I'd give my left nad for the 180gm vinyl of the Paradise Circus rmx. If those reading this haven't heard the Paradise Circus / Massive Attack rmx, check it out. Ok, that's me. Respect.
on 25 December 2012
I decided to write this review because I am sick of Burial fanboys making the equation beauty=good art in their reviews: "oh Burial is sooo beautiful & emotional blah blah..."
Truant/Rough Sleeper is like Kindred's twisted and mean stepsister and to a degree middle finger to these fanboys. And where do I base my claim. Both suites end in rough places. If the truth about these two is distilled in pure form in their last minutes, then we have something quite tough here, and to a certain degree it is justified to claim that what we have here is musical form given to the experiences which are hard and/or even displeasing.
In the case of "Truant" one has to start with a fact that there is a distinct technical innovation here. I now talk about how we have got used to Burial using silence and noise. Here the music is not interrupted by static vinyl crackle and hiss. Between the movement's sections there is an absolute gap of not any kind of static hissing, sound of rain, or burning cellophane type of silence. It is just this absolute "tape-not-filled-with-anything" type of silence. While listening to this mega-movement I counted four of these "full silences", one in 02.43, one in 03.48, one in 05.14 and one in 08.28.
The movement gives you a feeling of roaming from one city space to another, so in terms of how you perceive it, its title is fitting. But there is an extra twist to this sense of hanging around with this drifter and it comes from the use of these full silences. It's like hanging around with a guy who has a cam recorder. He turns it on and off and while it records you get a feeling for that particular space and mood for some clicks. In the beginning and middle section of the suite/movement there is this sense of progressive ease and freedom, but then suddenly after 08.28 it all goes sour.
The whole movement changes into this sinister dnb-spiked business. In terms of its transference of space and mood I would describe it as acoustically chaotic city-space accentuated by somewhat caustic musical references to "Fostercare" and "Wounder". Our truant obviously has not so happy past too.
As for these fanboys, I would like to see one of them look me in the eye and say for example section from for 10.43 to 11.09 is "pretty". If there is any beauty in it, it is because the harsh "living-in-the-presence" it expresses is true.
"Rough Sleeper" uses more conventional musical markers to express the experience of rough sleeping. It sort of has the same premise as Laurent Garnier's superb mix in disc 3 ("PBB late night mix")of his "Excess Luggage". They both have chill out moments, which lull the listener close to falling asleep/dream-state, but with the next moment this drowsy feeling is disturbed by musical elements, which are irritating, outlandish or plain veird.
Here also the movement ends in a rough place. The last minutes feel like dreaming when you're having fever, or trying to sleep on a cold pavement when your whole body is freezing. Yes fanboys, Burial's romantic music reveals such a beautiful world ;-)
If anything has become clear for me after this latest EP, it is this Burial guy should really get into collaborating with partners from the field of multimedia arts. He really has this unique ability to transpose to musical language some (urban) lived experiences. Excellence all the way.