What can I say, we’ve been waiting patiently since 2006 for a followup to the amazing album, Unture. It can be hard to nail down Burial‘s sound into a single genre. Although it is easy to tell his 2-step, garage, and ambient influences, his sound is very unique. What his early 2012 release, Kindred, did was only show how strong the young London artist is and his potential to move forward. With already a very large following in the electronic and music community, you can only expect this seven year drought with no LP will end soon.
William Bevan, a.k.a. Burial has been releasing a slew of singles lately, and it can only soothe the pain of no album because of how diverse and lengthy they are. Not to mention they’ve also been top notch material and he continues the pattern here with another single, or two to say. Truant / Rough Sleeper is Burial’s attempt at connecting with more of a melodic crowd with trying to maintain the sound of tracks like, “Archangels” and “Etched Headplate” off of Untrue. There are elements of ambient influences and even slight bro-step sounds. What might be a weird comparison is that it evens reminds me of SBTRKT‘s 2011 LP a little bit. The ending of “Truant” comes in with a wobbly, but light bass line, but then transforms into this snare click mess with a massive fluctuation in the bass line itself.
Truant is a track that contains a very ‘large’ sound. Although it doesn’t have much going on in terms of big bass lines and reverb, it has the best atmosphere I’ve heard out of Burial in a long time. The low sounding bass rumbles are something you can grab with your fingers. It changes over it’s 11 minute length to add a distorted female voice that only adds to the mix of minimal sounds. It’s such a well connected track that every little sound added into the piece makes you pay attention. Burial’s attention to detail is a work of art here, and it only provides another example of what he’s capable of doing. The little chimes and percussion effects colliding with the synths is very beautiful, but also eerie in a way. It’s like a late night walk in an empty city with lights flashing but nobody on the sidewalks. It really makes you think.
The real wonder of this single is the second track, “Rough Sleep”. Although it is noticeably catchier with the strong hook and melody at the beginning, it has a very relaxing and creative 2-step beat. It starts off as a back and forth normal snare/hi-hat machine, but it also adds in the extra beat to add room for mini bass drops that most will overlook. Yes, there are noticeable lead ups to Burial’s signature bass drops, but the change in sound throughout the song only provides diversity throughout the entire 25 minutes of two tracks. Unlike “Truant”, there is a lot to listen too. You’ll miss a lot of little niches that make this track a real great one. I found after a few listens you notice the voices that catch your ear. Not to mention the way the static sounds keep the track feeling compact and forward thinking. It’s one of Burial’s trademarks. The static of a vinyl or disc on one of his tracks shows that he’s put his approval on it. If I was him, I’d be happy with this song as well.
“Rough Sleep” has two extra minutes on the opener and it only makes this release the pressure point onto Burial’s forthcoming (or maybe never?) LP. It shows how talented Burial is at his craft. He’s able to release very strong ambient and even garage EP with Kindred and then come out with a 2-step dubstep release with Truant / Rough Sleep. I’m very happy with what I’ve heard and I can see these tracks as marker that 2013 will be a great year for the electronic music scene. With “Truant”‘s lead ups into the ultra catchy and brilliant song, “Rough Sleep”, expect this single to make a lot of year end charts. I’ll say it because I know others are thinking this. It is Burial’s best release since his mixed-reviewed EP (but I enjoyed it), Ghost Hardware. Give these two tracks a listen! I feel confident that they’ll click with you just as fast as they clicked with me.
Catch “Truant” here:
Check out “Rough Sleep” here: