New year, new Burial, and what better way to fully embrace the January bleakness than with his amorphous, ambient-leaning Antidawn EP, which acts as both protective cloak and insidious amplifier of the cold, hash reality of the world across five expansive, spectral tracks. Burial’s work has become increasingly loose over the last decade, formal structures all but abandoned for longform sketches as various motifs are explored and then abruptly cut off as others emerge from the static-ridden gloom. Shadow Paradis stands out for me, as its final moment are among the most beautiful he’s ever conjured, and that’s saying something.
Like a lot of people, my entry point into Burial was 2007’s Untrue, which means I completely missed his remix of Blackdown’s Crackle Blues. According to Boomkat – who tend to be a pretty good authority on this kind of thing – that was a mistake, as it remains one of his tightest productions to date. Now, 15 years later, Burial and Blackdown reunite on Shock Power of Love EP which landed today on Keysound pretty much out of nowhere, which seems to be Burial’s current MO.
Space Cadet includes many of the later-era Burial staples – extended running time, triumphant, almost trancy chords – as well as plenty that have been with him his entire career (hello plaintive vocals and atmospheric crackles), but pushes the euphoric envelope further than perhaps ever before, with the warped call of “take me higher” echoed by a full on gospel choir. I guess we’ve come to expect this kind of relentless brilliance from Burial by now, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.