Music review – Burial: Kindred EP

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Burial
Kindred EP
Hyperdub

Burial is probably the most acclaimed artist in the now bastardized dubstep genre.

In his landmark 2006 self-titled album, and again in 2007’s Untrue, Burial pulled from grime and UK garage; he cribbed vocal samples from video games, pop and R&B, and films ranging from David Lynch to The Mothman Prophecies; and he melded disparate sounds into a completely isolating, but unmistakably human, atmosphere.

Though it’s been half a decade since his last monumental achievement, Burial is still turning out work like Kindred, his second EP in as many years. The record is formulaic, but the formula still resonates. If earlier releases sounded like rising to the surface of the water for that first gasp of air or listening to the party next door through thin apartment walls, then Kindred is much more like slipping into the back alley of a London club for a quick smoke with the door cracked slightly open.

Burial has openly embraced the things he formerly – and masterfully – used to adorn the fringes of his sound. Dance and techno music’s synths, repetition, and length – as well diverse turns – are characteristic of Kindred’s three tracks. Still unmistakably Burial, “Loner” begins with an ominous film sample and a synth like a sliver of refracted light, but quickly becomes a dark and downtrodden club banger with manipulated vocal samples still whispering longings like “set me free” and “I want you.” Overall, Burial continues to relate to culture and mirror back what he experiences and feels flawlessly through the dystopian lens of an isolated Londoner who knows what it is to be human.

Andrew Cockerill
Contributor

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