Friday, December 14, 2012

Live Review: Burial - Truant/Rough Sleeper

Didn't you just review something?

Yeah well now we're reviewing something else and I'm preparing for the fact that what I consider to be the best album of the year might not even be the best new thing I hear today.

Burial is hands down amazing and definitely on the God tier of IDM with Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada. That's just a fact in my mind. His self-titled debut and Untrue were both very, very worthy albums, his collaborations with Four Tet and others (especially the hypnotic "Moth" and "Nova") elevated him to someone beyond the novelty (at the time it was a novelty) of dubstep (seriously do you remember in like 2005 when people were like "there's this new electronic genre getting popular... it's really dark and atmospheric, very subtle and intellectual... it's called dubstep!"? It's surreal to look back at that now) and into serious consideration as a extremely quickly rising talent in general electronica.

What really defined him in my mind as one of these God-tier artists was Kindred, though. Each track showed just an amazing amount of maturation and sophistication on his core aesthetics and techniques but the standout three for me were "Loner" (what people in the future would call the future of music), the title track (any thirty seconds of which will make you cry) and "Ashtray Wasp" (the most illusive, deep-down fundamental ur-emotion of sadness/loneliness/need for human connection that you spend your whole life grasping for - now in song form!). And
now we have two new tracks, each a hefty >10 minutes, and I'm pretty excited, so here we go.

Burial - Truant/Rough Sleeper

1. Truant
Woah. Cold. Distant. WOOOOAH. But that bloom of sound, wow. Such a breathing, whole, beautiful sound. And that slight stutter, and those underlying kicks, woah my god. THAT VOCAL SAMPLE, what was it, did someone get its license plate after it RAN ME THE FUCK OVER. And wow that heavy heavy heavy bass, that is new dimensions of black. I love these slight stutters. He's getting even more harsh with some of his electronic sounds I'm seeing, very intriguing. Back to the great noise mother. "I fell in love with you", this is CLASSIC Burial wow. There's a rhythm on some of these drums that is just so enthralling, so hypnotic. This is like back alley opium den doorway feel late night downtown London of course. Wow harshness at 2:40. WOW. And the reintroduction after the break wow. This feels like the ending to like... Metal Gear Solid as directed by Ingmar Bergman. What? Whatever. There is some sort of feel to intrigue to it, wouldn't you say? I'm certainly intrigued. ESPECIALLY BY THAT PULSING BASSLINE WOW. Another silence. And then this low harsh electronic reemergence wow, these filtering sounds, and it manages to get EVEN HEAVIER, this vocal sample mushed out to pure haunt. The bass is just growing in your ears like a pulsating tumor ew gross but wow so good. I love that clacking sound, so hollow, so industrial. And yet another splitsilence. We're back to the previous theme but more minimal. And wow a pulsing dissonant thing nauseating like The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble at their best. Oh man the ammo drop ringing click is back I love it. And those claps. Now we get a total menagerie of previous sounds all over that intoxicating bass beat. Woah such minimalism at 6:30. WHAT IS THIS. WHAT. IS. THIS. SOUND. No way. NO WAY. That's just TOO GOOD. I can't... I can't believe humans made that sound in the back. What is this, what have we surpassed? We are in new dimensions of sound now I'm thinking. New times and spaces. I am seriously just going completely head over heels on this section. Every time I'm like NO WAY they aren't gonna do that thing like they aren't gonna bring it up into a higher minor feel that'd just be TOO GOOD and then they do par ex or THAT SUBTLE STUTTER SOUND from way back at the start reemerging? NO WAY they could pull that off, and then it happens! Oh man, oh man. Another silence with that stormcloud bump and wow. This is cavernous, deep, abyssal. WWWWWWWWWWOOOOOOWW. That pulsing stuttering sound, vos ist das.! In the Matryoshka review I talked a lot about duality well that is different than this. Empty clicks over huge breathing bass chords, more alive than most life, that isn't contrast or duality or anything. That is like... a unified sound, somehow. Only under analysis does it seem like it shouldn't work it works so well. Wow at 10:10 this is wow simply wow. Bursting out of pure atmospheric noise with... wow. This is a club when you are fifty feet under water inside your head; your heart. And this pulsing feeling, it's aching, it simply makes me ache. This outro is just wow, so industrial, so noisy, from the streetlamp halo to the gutter. NICE. ****

2. Rough Sleeper
Roaringyawning intro into... organ sounds? Isn't that a bit TOO EASY? Oh god. Yes. I am totally free to this sort of sound. This, too, is "Motion Picture Soundtrack" tier. The stuff that enters in from the extreme range and bends down to the mid range, why is this technique SO EFFECTIVE? And the simplest two step beat of all time over top of this simply godly organ and vocals. The lower register is headphone rattlingly good. I love how the beat gets more hollow. I love these silences and then the organ back in with that huge round hollow dead thud in the back. The sort of glassy tinkling sounds sound like if the Beach Boys got way way way more depressed, which is saying a lot. I like this horn too. Burial has all these sounds that seem equally appropriate for the street/the club/heaven/hell. Wow though. Wow that rumbling bass. And these high tones right at the like... pure lemon-white range. I have no idea what I mean by that it is a Radiohead borne association. Wow the stuff around 3:50, this is a refinement of something he has tried to do many times. Woah this is SINISTER. It went in like three aesthetic directions at once and it occupies all of them. When it descends it feels like the void itself has opened and when it rises it's like pure wonky heaven. And then the vocals, what can I even say? He has invented some sort of new vocal modulation technique, a "hollowing out" of sound. Sheeeeeesh. SHEEEEEEEEEEEEESH, give me a break, seriously, these big chords that just like, blossom out of themselves, what do you make of that? You imagine like a hundred things and none of them seem to work. Woah at 6:10 VOS IST DOS? Amazing. Toybox aesthetic out of nowhere who could have would have even begun to figure. But it's way way more than that. I love that loop though, I think I am in love with it even. Oh man and stuff pulling back around it, with that buzzing vocal tone and now the sound of it winding down. Wwwwooooooowww. These chords again. It's like the whole night sky is glowing. "Light surrounding you". Amazing. And then here's that loop again, wonderful. I wonder what the ending will be like, I'm so excited. This actually sounds somewhat positive all things considered. Not that like somber y'know. Oh but this is just... so nice, wow. I could be okay with it just doing these angelic chords for four minutes. Bwwwwow this is sheesh wow. WOW. Wowhowow. What is going on HERE? Redefining what we mean when we say we can't say anything about this it is too beautiful. This is just way too... geez. Where do I start? Where could I possibly end? Oh man the beat getting more scattered, stormsounds getting louder, the whole thing like... exhaling. WOAH. And then such a dramatic actualized beat at the end, so substantial, so definitive.... wow.... too soon... too soon.... too sudden... ahhh.... ****

closing thoughts etc
tybg wow amazing amazing. Both songs easily on the tier of the tracks on Kindred. However, they aren't like, an evolution of Kindred, or even a maturation. It's more a continued exploration of the new structures and sounds and holyshit everything that he began on Kindred. This is absolutely totally fine because he created as much potential then as he did way back on his self-titled. Right now I have a hard time comparing them 'cause Kindred is so much more familiar to me... BUT YEAH THIS IS GREAT GOTTA GO MAYBE EVEN ANOTHER BLOG POST TONIGHT.


Unknown said...

was nice to read your review,ive been all day hearing at them and searching for opinions

Mjay said...

I was going through a remarkably similar thought and emotional processing when I listened to both tracks this morning! Truant - woah, shivers. And you're right, in that it sounds like a developed, yet strung-out (especially at the end, with the lingering static and faded familiar remnants of previously used samples) incarnation of its former being.

This might be my favoeite work from him yet - and I like how he owns those UK garage rhythms at the end of the track. Stunning.

Anonymous said...

Loved your review. I like to digest and scribe my thoughts on a simpler level though so...

Truant - This is Burial going back to basics. This to me is everything that he has ever done but 100 times better, and hes almost ashamed to admit it, even to himself. Hes gone lower key with his basslines, hes sunk his sounds almost to a region where you would expect an out of body experience, but your safe, your safe in Burials world. That vocal is almost genius, it enters the arena and it walks over your soul like a tramp would walk over an unkept grave, however somehow its cleaner than his usual vocals, its like hes mastered it, hes delivering a sound hes 100% happy with. Towards the end of the track, we get lots of little distant mashed up sounds, to me its like Burial is summerising his sound, its like hes using a certain selection of sounds and styles for the last time and hes telling us ever so quietly, that this is the end of something but also the beginning of something far greater.

As for Rough Sleeper, ill talk about that once ive excepted the unbeleivable brilliance of Truant.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to take it easy on the drugs a bit lol :)