Take a quick look at some YouTube comments on a couple of his songs and you’ll find a plethora of dark settings that the listener imagines while lettings the soundwaves of a Burial cut infiltrate his or her ears. Mood is pivotal to the music he creates. Without the vinyl cracklings, atmospheric sound effects, long reverbs, and somber pitch-bent vocal cuts, the tracks would have far less impact on the emotional toll the listener takes while listening to his music.
Luckily, the artist knows what sounds good and continues to evolve his signature sound with the three track Street Halo vinyl release. Distant remnants of dubstep’s wobbling bass? Check. Unique clicks and mid-range sounds for snare and hi-hats? Check. Depressing, but hopeful atmosphere? Double check. It’s all there and still sounding absolutely amazing.
To play along with everything that makes a Burial track stand out, there are a few new techniques utilized throughout the twelve-inch’s run. A more cinematic and dance-trance vibe surrounds the title track “Street Halo” and even introduces a few guitars half way through, which are creatively equalized to showcase mid-range and drenched in reverb. Pulsing and nicely compressed aspects are also introduced in the bulk of the mix. “Stolen Dog” also shows a step forward in production with the addition of a warm synthesizer which has a beautiful ASDR envelope that allows it to sound reverberated without using any at all (although there are several other tracks within the song that do put reverb on the synth to give it some extra depth).
The best piece on the vinyl is highly debatable, but I’d like my vote to go toward “NYC”. Starting from a very scarce landscape, the track is engrossed in minimal instrumentation with subtle accents that provide a platform for the sampled vocals to shine. They might possibly be strung together in a way that tells the most cohesive story in all of the Burial’s discography (next to “Archangel”). “When you know this is love..when I’m around you. NYC. Nobody loves me, no.” Throughout the track, dozens of effects are thrown on top of the vox and put into the mix at various points to provide an even deeper perception on the subject matter of the song. It’s the simplest of the bunch, but most impactful.
If this release is any indication on what’s to come from the third Burial record, I’m ready.
Single release: 5/5