Release Date: Feb 14, 2012
Record label: Hyperdub
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
In the sound files of William Bevan, flashes of static form evocative spider webs, vocal shards suggest novel-length dramas, and clattering grooves morph with the intimacy of a lover’s heartbeat. The U.K. producer’s first major statement since the rise of many inheritors (see James Blake, Weeknd,witch house, etc.), this breathtaking EP telescopes the mysticism of 2007’s Untrue into two 11-minute suites and a seven minute palate cleanser.
On the edge of our beige universe, there exist suns 600 billion times bigger than ours, suns that make even VY Canis Majoris, the biggest sun-star we know, look like a marble, a mere speck, the size of the period at the end of this sentence. If there were a disturbance in the magnetic force-field surrounding one of these mega-suns, forcing said sun to be sent through a wormhole, headed directly into our direction, we'd all be incinerated before we could say “Carl Sagan. ” The evidence of our human existence would become a tabula rasa, a lost vade mecum; the joys, hardships and years of written and oral history would mean nothing because it would be nothing.
To anyone who’s been under a rock for a week, Kindred by Burial, aka the Milk Tray man of dubstep, has landed. Snuck out last Sunday, it’s made the entire internet shiver, not least because it confirms that, after last March’s Street Halo, the elusive Will Bevan is still alive. Kode9, Burial’s minder, tweeted that this one would 'def be less than 25 quid' and he’s not lied - it’s a tenth of that over at the Hyperdub website.
Review Summary: For Burial, the darkness has finally come callingIn an interview with The Wire that dates back to the tail end of 2007, Will Bevan alluded to his music as a way of paying tribute to a scene and a time that he was too young to be a part of. His experience with rave and jungle music a communion between younger and older brother, the dialogue the crackle and hiss of vinyl spinning late into the night. Bevan’s subsequent growth and emergence as an artist is, by and large, the result of those trinkets secreted to him in the dead of night.
For a producer so revered in club music circles, Burial has spent his entire career at a remove from the scene and the dance. It could very well be the reason for his music's longevity in the face of shifting trends: Burial isn't about what's happening right now or what's tipped to be next but about what happened, whether it's the music ringing in your ears from the night before or the longstanding source of your chronic tinnitus. Loving Burial doesn't mean you have to stay utterly current on the UK's every machination or microtrend.
When last year's Street Halo came out, it was met with the same breathless hysteria that has greeted every new morsel of Burial music since Untrue. But you couldn't help but feel that the ghostly two-step master had become a little predictable. Even as the producer experimented with house music on the title track (which he had done previously on "Raver" and "Versus"), it felt as if he were re-using the same sounds and effects.
BurialKindred EP[Hyperdub; 2012]By Will Ryan; February 16, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGAlmost anything written about producer William Bevan aka Burial has the potential to turn quickly into naval-gazing drivel in its attempt to personify the Londoner's place in modern music. Not just electronic music or the corpse of dubstep, but the whole shebang. It's a tale full of contradictions, half-measures, and hushed voices starting with an auspicious scene-defining debut, followed by a breathtaking scene-destroying sophomore record, and then four years of a rumor here and a track there.
It’s been just over a month since the release of Burial’s latest on Hyperdub and the inevitable critical shitstorm it kicked up on the web. Superlatives heaped on superlatives. Everyone did their best to drop as many references as possible to hauntology, psycho-geography, rave-nostalgia, and rainy nights in London. And all the while, as the blogosphere went into critical meltdown, it became increasingly clear that hardly anyone actually cared what made this record interesting or different at all.
Understated and esoteric are hardly the first words that come to mind when you think of dubstep (more likely: Skrillex and drop, in that order), but they’re two of the ones most often used to describe the genre’s resident auteur Burial. Though he’s only released a handful of material aside from his two full-lengths on Hyperdub, Burial has remained a central figure in the UK’s burgeoning, ever-evolving bass music scene. Despite the seemingly endless stream of praise and acclaim, Burial – who only identified himself as London resident William Bevan after years of speculation on his identity – has done well to ensure that his career continues to be marked by a certain disconnect, a conscious dissociation from any and all stylistic particulars, even as he’s matured from a promising and faceless young prodigy who managed to build a bridge between the most disparate corners of UK garage, rave, and DnB, and in doing so, made himself into one of the most distinctive and influential producers making music today.
Masking different kinds of tones, flavors and colors into one overtly stunning and spectral situation, UK’s Burial has now garnered a steady attention through every one of his timeless releases. With past albums that conveyed spirits of lost aesthetics and amazing atmospheres for what many still argue on whether or not it’s dubstep (it is), Burial’s William Bevin has now taken five years off since his last proper LP. Since then, he’s enjoyed working on collaborations and projects where his brilliant style can freely shine.
Following up 2011's somewhat underwhelming Street Halo EP and a one-off collaboration with Thom Yorke and Four Tet, Burial releases this highly anticipated new release, his first in a year. While dubstep (a genre you can't even discuss without mentioning Burial) has fractured into a hundred different sub-genres collectively known simply as bass music, here Burial is continuing in more or less the same vein as before, using that familiar Burial sound palette. Opening track "Kindred" begins in recognisable territory, with the sound of falling rain and that vocal treatment, while the incoming beat that cuts through the murk is unforgivingly dark, recalling the later days of drum & bass.