Whilst not strictly an album a new release from Burial is a worthy addition to any albumoftheweek recommendation. There are only a very few select number of artists who can at the expectation of releasing new music set the world alight, crash internet forums and spark red hot anticipation in music critics the world over. One of those current artists is Burial, the London based producer who exploded out of the dubstep scene with his first two albums Burial and Untrue. Since then releases have been regular but unfamiliar and often in the shape of EPs or one off tracks, that are long in length but broken up into musical segments much like an urban opera.
When a record store in the USA accidentally sold vinyl copies of two unreleased Burial recordings on Black Friday, the music world duly went into overdrive and Hyperdub accordingly went into rage mode before fully releasing the tracks sometime after. And thank god for accidents because Young Death and Nightmarket are two stunning efforts.
Young Death has all the hallmarks of later Burial releases the crackle and broken beats that best summarises William Bevan’s sound are all present. However, unlike recent EPs Young Death is not as fragmented nor as long and passes by almost like a cut from Untrue. Whilst perhaps not as experimental as Ashtray Wasp or Rival Dealer, it is refreshing, exciting and most importantly uniquely Burial. The track is littered with distorted R&B vocals that provide a sense of loss whilst the beat at some points feels almost techno inspired. It is a great addition to the Burial cannon and will surely be adored by fans of the Burial sound.
However, the real gold on this release is found in the track Nightmarket, which comes over like a glitch, slower and more urban 90s Trance tracks. The heavier use of synths is new for Burial and yet used expertly and beautifully. Again vocal snippets litter the track, this time culled from sci-fi movies, which provide a spacey alienated feel to things. Nightmarket feels heavily inspired by 90s trance and sci-fi movie soundtracks especially Blade Runner and Burial favourite Alien.
Nightmarket is both longer and more fractured in structure than Young Death with the track feeling like it is broken into two synth driven songs, however, as always with Burial this fragmentation is engaging rather than alienating to the listener and conveys perfectly the atmosphere, which Will Bevan as a producer so often strives for.
Burial rightly generates so much excitement because his work is so often exciting and unique. This release is no different, it is a brilliant piece of work from a rather special artist. Whilst Young Death is a very good and very distinct Burial track when it comes shear production brilliance Nightmarket is in a league of its own.