April 16, 2011

BURIAL - "Street Halo" EP (Hyperdub)

  William Bevan has always steered clear of shameless self promotion, avoiding the world of advertising and hype almost completely, but for the few tasteful adverts his long time Hyperdub label puts out there for him.Which is probably why we had no idea this was coming out, until it was already released.His work under the Burial moniker continues to remain shrouded in mystery, and constantly evolves into something more genre-defying and brave, with each release.Street Halo is the name of his most recent whatever-step beat bender.Similar to 2007's amazing Untrue full length, with that familiar sprawling 2- step dissonance and soulful voice samples, but the better half of this ep moves towards something more streamlined and pop oriented.No complaints here.The title track is classic Burial, with swirling synth melody that constantly shifts, splitting off into a hundred different directions at times.There's plenty of ooh's and ah's floating around this track as well, courtesy of an unknown female voice sample.Everything is in it's place, and held together by that hypnotic 2-step shuffle he does all too well.An excellent opening track, and one that will surely reintroduce your ears to Burial's black magic.
  It's not until the second track, NYC, that we hear a slight shift in tone and style.Things start off with a swooning voice sample, but this time acting as more of an actual lead singer, stretching out over the motorik percussive click and deep synth-scapes, sounding something like a scrapped M83 remix, and that's a good thing.The song rolls on into nothingness with it's heavy r&b vibe, coupled with hushed string arrangements and synth manipulations.The closer, Stolen Dog, continues in the same direction, with a straight forward, minimal dance beat to lead things off.Layers of tiny bells and chimes ring out in the background, while a terrible addictive synth scale grabs a hold of you, right to the end.Echoing voices start to appear from nowhere, and things finally start moving.Every few measures brings a new sound, whether it be a scraping piece of sheet metal, or the crackling of a campfire.This song is a mysterious one indeed, as you don't even notice it's slow build until it's already too late, and the results are absolutely hair-raising.Burial has returned, and er.

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