Luke Slater, Terrence Dixon, Brian Eno

Burial – ANTIDAWN

Hyperdub

7.4
Rating

It often feels as if Burial occupies an entirely different time space to everyone else, an outsider quality that has made the UK producer both icon and enigma. Maintaining a ghost in the machine aura that’s had people guessing he could actually be anyone from Four Tet to Skrillex for years, Burial’s only traces are what he produces. Yet these traces offer everything essential about him. They have always been distinct, outlying formulations of UK garage and ghostly ambience; emotive blueprints offering insight into Burial’s alternate point of view. Trust Burial to do things entirely on his own terms. While his peers were releasing music that defied the categorisation of ‘dance’ by ruminating on isolation and forced solitude, Burial unleashed the 12 minute rave opus CHEMZ. ANTIDAWN, his new EP for Hyperdub, seems to take its cue from the ambient CHEMZ B-side Dolphinz and is arguably Burial’s answer to the quarantine album, just released at the moment when everyone else is returning to the dancefloor. In his own words, ANTIDAWN reduces Burial’s sound to ‘just the vapours’ in an exploration of ‘an interzone between dislocated, patchwork songwriting and eerie, open-world, game space ambience.’ There are no beats in sight, instead ANTIDAWN takes the shape of five spectral soundscapes of ambient sound, crackling static space, and indistinct vocal samples designed to build a ‘wintertime city’ world inhabited by the ghosts of Burial’s imagination.

Download ANTIDAWN here

Opening with the eleven minute Strange Neighbourhood, ANTIDAWN immediately takes its cue from the immersive quality of video game soundtracks. The track opens with static and the repeated sound of someone clearing their throat, and it becomes apparent that the track is being experienced from this person’s point of view. The structure, if any, meanders through phrases of buzzing electronic ambience, twinkling chimes and short bursts of melody suspended in void like space, recalling the experience of wandering through an imagined dystopian landscape on your XBox. Mostly, ANIDAWN takes on the tone of eerie horror soundscapes in the vein of Silent Hill. Motifs of icy chimes and repeated, disparate vocal phrases such as “I’ve no place left to go” give the EP an overall chilling and uncanny feeling. The title track is especially unnerving, continuing the journey into Burial’s video game world from the perspective of the character we meet on Strange Neighbourhood as the universe around them becomes increasingly more ominous. This establishment of a first person perspective is essential to ANTIDAWN. It sets up the listener as the game’s protagonist, and allows the EP to transcend from music to immersive spectacle. On tracks like Upstairs Flat, it’s not difficult to pin-point Burial; the track’s first act plays out like typical Burial faire sans the signature breakbeat, but then it winds back to the same ambient soundscape we entered through on Strange Neighbourhood, completing the journey through ANTIDAWN’s world. 

It’s difficult to really speak about ANTIDAWN in the same way as the rest of Burial’s body of work. It’s the most distinct entry into his catalogue, and a breaking through of boundaries set only by himself. This EP is a testament to his skill as sound designer, an auteur who is able to conjure alternate realities from the qualities and tonalities of the sounds he works with. It’s not so much music as it is a sort of radio drama, an immersive audiobook that manages to feel impossibly rich and immaculately envisioned without the use of words. While ANTIDAWN most closely recalls the lockdown experiments of Luke Slater or Terence Dixon, the timing of its arrival works in its favour. By avoiding the saturation of the ambient immersive genre of the past two years, ANTIDAWN is able to reveal the full extent of its intricacies and world-building genius, and sets Burial up as one of electronica’s foremost innovators despite making him feel more impenetrable than ever before. 

 

Follow Burial

Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud 

 

Comments
Burial – ANTIDAWN
Title
Title
Neg Title
7.4
Rating

PLAYGROUND is part of the GROUND Music Group. Founded in 2008 the music group has branched out into international Music PR, Events, Record Label, Agency and Social Music Network.



Subscribe
A customizable subscription slide-in box to promote your newsletter
X