I’ve given up on ever really wrapping my head around the constantly evolving sub-sub-genres which make up most of the UK electronic music scene – once I read the words ‘aqua-step’ I knew it was all over. Fortunately, many of the artists inhabiting those same sub-sub-genres are paying much closer attention than I am, and the best of them manage to stay on top of, if not ahead of all these constantly evolving trends.
Burial is certainly one of those artists, and his latest ep, Kindred, manages to pull in sounds and ideas from across several genres (including, yes, sorry, dubstep) and filter them through his own, haunting, decidedly un-danceable palette.
While he hasn’t released a full-length album since 2007′s Untrue, this new 3-track ep still reaches the 30-minute mark, (my personal standard for an ‘album’, anyway), and while each track flirts with house music arpeggios or rave-ready chord progressions, these new elements are still buried beneath layer after layer of ghostly distortion and distorted vocal samples. It hardly sounds like an original idea on paper – there’s plenty of mopey down-tempo techno out there, after all – but Burial’s music, and the Kindred ep in particular, manages to zero in on this tension between dance music and darkness in a way that no one else can.