Release Date: Oct 30, 2015
Record label: Tri Angle
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Club/Dance, Garage Rap/Grime
Despite living in Houston, Texas, Eric Burton is one of the most influential artists in the modern grime scene. His earliest releases as Rabit predicted the weightless grime that would later be solidified by Mumdance and Logos. He was the only artist featured in all the early Functions Of The Now mixes, which form one of the instrumental grime movement's definitive documents.
With his first full-length, Houston-based producer Rabit (aka Eric Burton) proves once more why he's a perfect fit for the Tri Angle roster and a circle of friends and collaborators that includes Mumdance, Logos, and the Janus collective. Like many of those artists, he takes grime's violent bleakness to new heights (or should that be depths?) as he shatters its boundaries. Arriving just a few months after the Baptizm EP, Communion's wider scope allows Rabit to address issues of sexuality, gender, and widespread corruption with a charged viewpoint.
Since joining up with Tri Angle Records last year, Texas-based producer Eric Burton (who records as Rabit) has fixed his eyes on God. He called his first release — a short-form collection of alien boom-baps and rifle cracks — Baptizm and his debut full-length comes bearing the name Communion, both of which underscore a fascination with sacrament, ritual, and ceremony as a means of marking growth. In a recent interview with Dummy, Burton explained that he grew up in Catholic school, but said his main feelings associated with that period of his life — as a non-religious queer person — were of “fear and shame.
Eric Burton produces a dark, genre-transcending sort of electronic music, yet has recently been lumped in with the new wave of grime, alongside the likes of Visionist and Filter Dread. Unlike those other two artists, Burton — who records as Rabit — is based in Houston, not in London. Burton's oeuvre may borrow tropes from grime, but his isolation from the rest of the scene is demonstrated by the singularity of his sound.Communion is his debut full-length, his second release for Tri Angle following the Baptizm EP, which arrived earlier this year.
Rabit (Eric Burton) is from Texas, and though his music has generally maintained a loose dialogue with UK grime, it has also increasingly nurtured its own identity. His early work found an uneasy midpoint between violence and grace: On 2013's Sun Showers EP, misty synths crept on cat feet, surrounded by jabbing, staccato rhythms. This year's Baptizm EP, his first for Tri Angle, amped up both his tendencies in equal measure, but on Communion the truce has broken, and all hell breaks loose.
Rabit hails from Houston, Texas, but one of his biggest influences was born across the pond: grime. His take on the British genre has earned him fans ranging from Björk to veteran grime MC Riko Dan (who worked with Rabit on killer tune 'Black Dragons' in 2014).But on his debut album 'Communion', Rabit leaves behind instrumental grime for something darker and stranger. It's loaded with apocalyptic imagery, from the corroded textures of 'Flesh Covers Bone' to the landmine explosions of 'Pandemic'.There are a few tear-out moments (see the unhinged 'Black Gates' and the volatile 'Burnerz'), but the biggest rewards come from more alien and introspective moments such as 'Glass Harp Interlude'.
A couple of months ago we received a transmission from the future, via producer Rabit and multimedia artist Chino Amobi. Titled The Great Game: Freedom From Mental Poisoning, it was a 40 minute screed of resistance from a future world where a capitalist china-syndrome on a global scale is unleashed upon human culture and corporeality. Its violent digital sounds, militarised outbursts of noise, religious symbolism, and a female disembodied voice inform us that humanity is part of a "Great Game" where every exchange has become capitalised, intensified and replicated to the point of toxicity while "geopolitical explosions" and "Chinese drones spotted in Nigeria" tells of deregulated, never-ending cultural and economic warfare being waged upon us.