Burial | Street Halo and Ego/Mirror

Hyperdub (2011) & Text (2011)
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  April 6, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

Burial main
Burial makes the electronic-music equivalent of auto-erotic asphyxiation. Both because William Bevan's productions are too creepy to be deemed sexy, and because his warped offerings are comparable to what dubstep would sound like if you had a belt tightened around your neck. On Street Halo, the low-profile Londoner offers up his first solo output since 2007's Untrue, and it's done in what now has to be considered his trademarked style: sped-up echoes of R&B samples lathered over spatial synth washes and beats that sound as if they were skipping backward instead of chugging forward. Although a three-song offering that sounds like something scraped together using leftovers from a four-year-old album may seem a letdown, it's not, if only because, in those four years, many have tried to mimic Burial's sound but to no avail. Perhaps that's because no one has been able to crack the equation to replicate his hollowed-drum pre-sets. More likely, it's because his UK contemporaries are totally concerned with bombing the dance floor, whereas Burial is plenty content with wallowing in his self-imposed mire. His undercurrent beats also percolate through the "Ego/Mirror" single, this one paired with Four Tet's sorcery and Thom Yorke's signature unintelligible croon. It's telling that these two tracks emerged in the wake of Radiohead's The King of Limbs. "Feral," the lone standout from that otherwise limp effort, and Yorke's much buzzed-about creative tryst with Flying Lotus both hint that the verse-chorus-verse song structure afforded by Radiohead may no longer be cutting it for Thommy. If he can somehow persuade his bandmates to get in line with the dashing dissonance of "Ego," or the cleansing click-clack pulse of "Mirror," he might really have an excuse to dance.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Radiohead, Dance,  More more >
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