Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Burial - Street Halo EP

When looking at Dubstep, it's hard to predict the future of artists. Some become regular DJ's for London's most prestigious clubs, others take on a fuller sound and begin to tour with a band, like Mount Kimbie and James Blake have done. Burial is a completely different story, the chances of myself ever seeing Burial live are slimmer than the chances I'll make it to 90 years of age. Which is why it's hard to predict what the future holds for Burial. His music is above everything else, taking in atmosphere and using ambiance to create textures which are unheard of in Dubstep, from the 2006 self titled album five years ago to this present day, Burial has released only minimal amounts of material. Two albums which are highly appreciated and well received add to his extended plays which are more common such as this 2011 release Street Halo.

The title track features a gritty beat and industrial like ambiance with swooshes of sound in a riff to create a brilliant, eerie atmosphere which only Burial can create. The beat is very stop/start with synth heavy samples being used to push the track forward with the percussion and 'ticking' sound to create that eerie world, which can be represented in the music video for this track. The sampled R&B vocals which have become common are at use. The vocals have been edited almost entirely, with reverb and delay effects added and segments chopped up into the beat riff. Everything sounds spectacular and this is one of my favourite tracks of the year.

Haunting sounds and quiet, night time noises are heard on 'NYC', I hear some self titled album influences on this track with the soundscapes. As the beat enters, it's solid and steady with many features to it's sound to keep everything fresh. The female vocals are again effected to the maximum to sound almost intended for this track. The ambient movements sound beautiful with the delicate beat which isn't too bass heavy. Sure it has it's low bass moments, but nothing which changes the mood of the track. The haunting vocals saying "NYC" sound childlike and work with the ambient noises and percussion.

His attention to detail on 'Stolen Dog' is insane. The synthesized riff works with the already established traditional Burial beat. Vocals are again key with emotion and relation to the instrumental. Atmosphere surrounds the entire track with light synthesizers being played with samples and that beat which sounds great. I cant really say more about Stolen Dog as it's one of those tracks that just needs to be heard, but in a critical form. it's very laid back, it doesn't have fantastic structure but the imagery it creates surpass the actual content.

Relating to his studio albums, this stands strong. 'Street Halo' has beautiful samples and the beat is divine, it's the right length and so is the entire Street Halo EP. Burial can continue making music in the future, he will always have his fan base.. But, he really needs to start changing something up if he wants to improve his game and not be hidden away in similarities to his own music, that would kill him off. He has two very strong albums which keep him away from obscurity, but I think Burial is coming to his end very soon.


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