Burial is back. Within the space of a month Will Bevan has ambushed us with that collab alongside Four Tet and Thom Yorke (“Ego / Mirror”), and now this three track EP on Kode9’s Hyperdub imprint. Famed for his evocative atmospherics, iconic vinyl crackling motifs and sonic portrayal of the minutiae of everyday existence, Burial is undoubtedly one of the most influential producers of recent times. His debut self-titled album took the world by storm in 2006 and the follow up Untrue (2007) has similarly been hailed as a contemporary classic. A producer of quality over quantity who deigns to live in the shadows rather than the limelight, we were first given a taster of the infamously enigmatic dubstep producer’s new solo release on Benji B’s Radio One show and now it’s here in all its resplendent glory.
So what of it? “Street Halo” is a delectable, crackling 4/4 roller with buckets of emotion and texture. In other words, it’s the Burial of “Archangel” fame who we all know and love. A muffled, deep undulating bassline is paired with clip clop beats and a pervasive sense of urban gloom. Eerie and dimly lit, the soundscape is one to get lost in, the serene vocal echoing in the distance tantalisingly. Continuing the nocturnal journey, “NYC”, up next, is bristling with echoes of thunder, murmurs of traffic in the distance, jingling keys and signature Burial background atmospherics. The intense sense of space is underpinned by slouching beats and a small, eerie and discernibly mournful voice wailing on top. This paves the way for the final moments of contemplation in concluding track, “Stolen Dog”. Here Burial blends smudgy keys with a terse, ticking rhythmic pulse and glowing SFX, all shrouded in an ethereal shimmer, much like Burial himself. “Street Halo” is a timely reminder of this producer’s relevance and enduring influence in the UK bass music scene.