Monday, August 15, 2016

Burial - "Rival Dealer" (LP Review)

Burial's (aka William Bevan) 2013 EP "Rival Dealer" has been working its way up my playlist.  I have his critically acclaimed two full length LPs (2006's "Burial" and 2007's "Untrue") which I enjoy, but not nearly at the level at which this EP has captured my attention.  Other reviews do a good job of contextualizing this EP within the rest of his canon (Pitchfork, RA, NME), but for me this EP synthesizes everything I liked about his first two LPs, as well as what I liked about Andy Stott's "Luxury Problems" and Balam Acab's "See Birds".

Bevan himself said in a BBC Radio 6 interview:
“I put my heart into the new EP, I hope someone likes it. I wanted the tunes to be anti-bullying tunes that could maybe help someone to believe in themselves, to not be afraid, and to not give up, and to know that someone out there cares and is looking out for them. So it's like an angel's spell to protect them against the unkind people, the dark times, and the self-doubts.”
And there is a definite triumphant feeling to these songs, mostly abstract but some rather concrete.  Furthermore, he samples an interview with NASA Earth scientist Melissa Dawson at various points in the EP.  Although I haven't posted it here, I've shared with friends my theory that the US space program exists mainly to provide samples for electronic music, and with "Rival Dealer" Burial only reinforces my position.

All three tracks are great, but the corner stone is clearly the closing "Come Down to Us".

Skip 'em tracks: none.

Standout tracks: "Rival Dealer", "Hiders", "Come Down to Us".

Final Score: 9/10

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