Burial – “State Forest”

Burial – Dreamfear/Boy Sent From Above EP

If Burial’s sudden switch to XL from his longtime home of Hyperdub is the first step in joining Four Tet in an implausible late-career pivot to EDM superstardom, his debut EP for the label proves he’s in no hurry to get there. 

Dreamfear/Boy Sent From Above is the U.K. club recluse’s first release as labelmate of Sigur Rós and Radiohead, but he hasn’t cleaned up his sound one bit (even the packaging looks grungy) and still occupies a universe of distant sirens and stranded voices. The crackle of vinyl runs implacably through his music like rain crinkling on trash bags, and, from the silence, snatches of breakbeat and fearsome industrial techno burst forward with fierce energy. 

This is the fullest immersion into the nostalgic ‘90s rave sound he’s been poking at on his last half-decade or so of EPs and singles. But while his desire to evoke the druggy euphoria of early U.K. club music has sometimes jostled against his ear for atmosphere (as on his contributions to the Shock Power of Love split with Blackdown), those two extremes are more fully integrated than ever on these two 13-minute tracks. 

This music sounds more like an archaeological project than music designed for dancing, as if someone combing through the ruins of an abandoned DJ booth accidentally triggered snatches of song unheard for years. GRADE: B+

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You can check out Dreamfear/Boy Sent From Above at Bandcamp and elsewhere. 

XL Recordings (via Bandcamp)

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