Burial – NYC
FRIDAY NIGHT VIDEOS!
Burial is a London-based electronic musician. His moody songs are mostly constructed from seemingly just a few elements: deep dark bass, mournful keys/strings, and off-kilter drum patterns that sometimes incorporate maddeningly-familiar percussive sounds sampled from films or video games (the click of a gun’s hammer being cocked, or the tock of a ping-pong ball’s bounce).
Burial – Etched Headplate
Though sometimes he jettisons rhythm almost entirely, and just luxuriates in murky, staticky atmosphere, in mostly-beatless ambient pieces.
Burial – Forgive
His songs also often feature two other prominent recurring elements: a patina of vinyl hiss and crackle; and samples of the sort of singing you might hear in a euphoric club tune, only here they are submerged or blurred; the voices pitch-shifted and digitally-slivered into vaporous androgynous fragments.
Burial – Fostercare
These last two elements might come off as affectations, or cheap emotionally-manipulative tricks – the equivalent of the hipster who uses the same old-timey Instagram filter to artificially scuff up every photo.
But in his hands, they become haunting evocations of loneliness, drawing out something singularly individual and inward-facing from the history of UK dancefloor communal ecstatic hedonism – I’ve seen his music described as sounding like “the ghosts of raves past”.
Despite the nostalgia inherent in such a statement – and having encountered some precedents for his rhythmic complexity (in jungle) and use of vast crackling space (in dub) – upon my first listens, Burial struck me as some of the first really futuristic-sounding music I had heard in quite a while.
Burial – Rough Sleeper
More than just futuristic; I think it’s beautiful.