Burial has made it his life’s work to document the cold urban vibe of walking home alone in the rain at three in the morning with a walkman. Working almost exclusively for Kode9’s Hyperdub Records, he has submerged video game sounds, garage snares, pirate radio crackle and jungle breaks into a unique concrete stew that is unrivaled yet often imitated. While his last album was released a decade (!) ago this year, William Bevan has blessed us with a steady stream of forward-thinking twelve inches and remixes (enough to fill more than a few long players) to satiate our hunger. On Subtemple, the follow up to last year’s Young Death / Nightmarket and Burial’s first-ever solo 10-inch release, he may have finally distilled his sound to the essence he once described as “finding a body in an elevator shaft”. “Subtemple” consists of the sort of ghostly vocals, muted pads and stairwell ambience that have peppered most of his releases to date, displaced from any rhythm or bassline and stretched into a seven-minute urban collage. On the flip, “Beachfires” is Burial at his most restrained and cinematic, with haunted, dissonant strings swirling over a droning machine hum for nearly ten minutes. While this release may lack the bittersweet warped diva vocals and shuffling wooden 2-step vibes that we adore from him, Burial is still miles ahead of the pack in terms of conjuring serious moods with very few elements. We’ll take what we can get while we continue to wait with bated breath for another full-length dispatch. Recommended.
- music label: Hyperdub 2017
reviewed by Ashtray WASP 06/2017
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