Electronic Spotlight: Burial
Words By Stevie Tee
In case you've been wondering what's been going on with Radiohead's new sound, it might have something to do with Burial. Thom Yorke recently teamed up with Four Tet and Burial for a 12" single release. The songs "Ego" and "Mirror" debuted on Floating Point's mix show when Four Tet stopped by UK radio station, Rinse FM. While we've already spotlighted Four Tet, and even your grandmother probably knows who Thom Yorke is by now, we need to take a closer look at Burial as an artist.
Born William Bevan, this reclusive producer has been making a big splash since his first album dropped in 2006. After his first single, "South London Boroughs", was released in 2005 on the Hyperdub label, Thom Yorke commissioned him for a remix of the song, "And It Rained All Night”, from Yorke’s The Eraser. Around that time, indie rockers Bloc Party were also demanding his production services. Often considered a dubstep artist, Burial's music is just as closely related to 2-step garage, house, techno and ambient. His songs also typically feature trademark vocals that are sampled and processed to fit the grainy, rough texture of his productions.
Successfully avoiding the sophomore slump, his second album, "Untrue", was released in 2007 and had a fantastic promotional mix produced by Hyperdub’s founder, Kode9. The mix debuted on Mary Anne Hobbs' BBC radio show and included bits and pieces from 17 different songs recorded for the album. It's an incredibly fluid listen for 17 tracks being showcased in 15 minutes and serves as a fantastic preview to the album as well as Burial’s catalog. Fluidity is incredibly important when it comes to mixing Burial as he specifically uses software like Soundforge to create more life-like sounding drum tracks that omit the use of trackers and sequencers. Trying to escape the too perfect, too rigid, artificial grid feel of most electronic music, Burial's music moves and breathes without being too polished.
Download or Stream Kode9's promotional mix of Burial's most recent LP, "Untrue”.
Burial and Four Tet have collaborated in the past on the Moth and Wolf Cub EP they produced together. The sound was quite a bit more abstract than what they've produced with Thom Yorke and definitely worth checking out if you've been enjoying these artists. Hyperdub will also be releasing a new solo EP from Burial this week on vinyl with a web release to follow shortly after. Expect big things in the future, but then again, collaborating with Four Tet and Thom Yorke is already humongous.