Burial – “Truant/Rough Sleeper”

Perfection is hard to create. Consistency is even more difficult. Burial continuously embraces both aspects extremely well, and his latest release is no different. Following the Kindred EP comes the Truant/Rough Sleeper EP. Though the two song track list may make you question why it’s so short, but keep in mind that the entire two tracks clocks at just under 26 minutes long.

Though the tracks on the one hand appear to be Burial experimenting with a ton of sounds and the like, but the more you listen one can’t help but wonder if the entire EP contains moods, emotions, time, and pace that yes, could possibly have more of a structured story line set in musical form. Each track is broken up often, changing in speed and attitude every time. Though it isn’t a direct “sequel” or follow-up of some sort to “Kindred” it bounces off well, and I find myself listening to one after the other.

“Truant” lumbers along for most of it, with a sample moaning “I fell in love with you” eerily repeating itself in such a mournful way that easily set’s that “storyline” stage I was talking about. However, it very quickly switches directions viciously to a more fast paced and aggressive tone, which then again morphs into a more mesmerizing synth explosion, all with a flickering yet shady drum progression stalking it, before it all turns totally dark and forceful for the last section of the track. This track holds nothing back, and is varied to the point of subtle craziness. And yet, the mood and atmosphere of the entire track gives off the “night-time stroll through rainy city streets” mantra that burial represents so well.

“Rough Sleeper” definitely is the more soothing of the tracks, but, in an almost hesitant way especially how “Truant” ended. There is a real personal touch to this EP. This track transcends and covers sounds of all kind, whether it be the saxophone sample, some sort of metallic sound that seems to play as a Bonang, or even the Andreas Vollenweider-sounding instrumental. All this with a bass line warming its way through the crisp drums. What really gets me is the repetition in “Rough Sleeper” and the incoming roughness and chaos the music goes through in the last minutes of the track, with little snippets of random instrumental sounds breaking through the distortion and drums…which stop so suddenly the silence itself turns frightening. It doesn’t fade out; it doesn’t have a drum outro. It just ends.

This is EP is an experience, worth your time, and definitely has made itself already one of the most prolific pieces of music of 2013. Few EPs can be personal and contain emotion. Even fewer can evoke emotion and bring up underlying thoughts and impressions from the sounds alone. With his elusive nature, shy character, and independent creativity, one certainly acknowledges that with the length used Burial has allowed himself to be more fluid with this music allowing for more variation and production styles. Even if you have never heard of Burial before, and especially if you are so adamant at not listening to electronic music (let along liking it) even as a one-time experience, listen to this EP. It is not one to be missed. It has such sentiment that can leave everything else in a blurry haze while you listen. It is quite frankly, superb.

– Nick

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