(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Burial (2006) , 7.5/10
Untrue (2007) , 6.5/10
Street Halo (2011), 6.5/10 (EP)
Kindred (2012), 7.5/10 (EP)
Truant/ Rough Sleeper (2013), 6.5/10

Burial (Will Bevan) is a British dubstep producer.

Dubstep originated in London (probably in a club called "Forward>>" in 2001) as a bass-heavy instrumental dance music derived from garage, a sort of middle ground between two-step and dub. Unlike grime, that was fundamentally orientated towards the vocals, dubstep was more about the atmosphere. Digital Mystikz, Loefah and Kode9 were among the pioneers of the scene, but it was Skream with Midnight Request Line (2005) that established it as a major force in dance music. Burial became the first artist to emerge from the dubstep scene and reach a broader audience.

The artistic success of Burial (Hyperdub, 2006) owed little to dubstep proper (Wounder and Southern Comfort, the former faithful to Burial's austere, modest and sparse aesthetic, the latter scoured by electronic geysers). Many of the pieces seemed rather an evolution of the gloomy trip-hop ambience of the 1990s shaken by post-jungle breaks. For example, Gutted is a cubistic deconstruction of a melancholy and jazzy ballad, and Broken Home is a Afro-bossanova equally decomposed. A tense and gloomy atmosphere emerged from Distant Lights, affording a glimpse into the kind of ebullient volcano that lied underneath. Burial's most experimental moments were ever more daring: the metallic post-industrial polyrhythms and miasmatic electronics of U Hurt Me, the lulling musique concrete of Forgive, the swampy collage of noise, voices and beats of Pirates.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Giulia Quaranta)

Burial (Will Bevan) è un produttore di musica dubstep.


La dubstep nacque a Londra (probabilmente in un locale chiamato "Forward" nel 2001) come una branchia strumentale della musica elettronica derivata dalla garage e caratterizzata da bassi molto pesanti, una sorta di via di mezzo tra tra two-step e dub. A differenza di queste, che erano maggiormente orientate sulla vocalità, la dubstep pone invece l'attenzione sull'atmosfera. Digital Mystikz, Loefah e Kode9 sono tra i pioneri della scena, ma fu Skream con Midnight Request Line (2005) a stabilirne una maggiore forza nella musica dance. Burial divenne il primo artista ad emergere dalla scena dubstep e raggiungere un pubblico più ampio. 


Il successo artistico di Burial (Hyperdub, 2006) deve molto ad una dubstep rivisitata (Wounder e Southern Comfort). Molti dei suoi pezzi sembravano un'evoluzione della cupa atmosfera trip-hop degli anni '90, scossi da pause post-jungle. Per esempio, Gutted è una decostruzione cubista di una ballata malinconica e jazzata, e Broken Home è un bossa-nova stile Afro composta nel medesimo modo. Un'atmosfera tesa e oscura emerge da Distant Lights, offrendo una fugace occhiata a che tipo di vulcano in ebollizione si sta per scatenare al di sotto.

I momenti maggiormenti sperimentali di Burial sono quelli più audaci: i poliritmi metallici post-industriali e i miasmi elettronici di U Hurt Me, la concretezza musicale rilassante di Forgive, e il collage paludoso di rumore, voci e ritmi di Pirates. 

Untrue (Hyperdub, 2007) reintroduced the vocals that Burial had so successfully disposed with. Basically, Burial married dubstep with soul music. Archangel is a ballad, not as deeply disguised and not as ferociously deconstructed as the ones on the first album, so that one can actually hear the melody. Instrumentally, the second album is very similar to the first one, an ominous sign that Burial's imagination is not unlimited. Micro-symphonies of vocal samples, beats and synths still rule Near Dark, Homeless, Ghost Hardware, with closer Raver representing the atmospheric end of the spectrum. The edgier "songs" are the ones that make creative use of vocals, notably Endorphin, that spins a child's lullaby inside an electronic nebula, and Shell of Light, a mantra within a mantra within a spacetime warp.

The three-song EP Street Halo (2011) contains one of his most straightforward techno pieces, Street Halo, but tinged with the melancholy and almost ghostly spleen of trip-hop, one of his slowest ever, NYC, that sounds like the brainy remix of a sensual soul ballad, and especially one of his most ethereal and oneiric shuffles, Stolen Dog. Each of them is wrapped in elegant arrangements, but this is more a demonstration of Burial's skills as a producer than a work of art. Instead, the EP Kindred (Hyperdub, 2012) contains three suite-length pieces that rank among his most ambitious attempts at redefining his own style: If Loner, propelled by a techno-ish locomotive beat, is simply another straightforward dancefloor detour, and Ashtray Wasp is a house-music fantasia that dissolves in a psychelic molasses evoking loneliness and mental insanity, Kindred unleashes a creative puzzle of glitchy soundscape, spastic rhythm, wailing vocals (hinting at a melody reminiscent of a James Blunt's lament), snippets of female vocals and electronic effects.

The EPs collected on Street Halo/ Kindred (Hyperdub, 2012) contain the concentrate of spleen Street Halo (hardly dubstep at all) and the soul ballad Stolen Dog, as well as the acid deconstructed garage of Kindred and the symphonic crescendo of Ashtray Wasp.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Giulia Quaranta)

In Untrue (Hyperdub, 2007) Burial reintroduce i testi che aveva precedentemente messo da parte con successo. Fondamentalmente, Burial ha più travestita da qualcosa di molto profondo, né ferocemente decostruita come quelle del primo album, in modo che si possa sentire la melodia. Dal punto di vista strumentale, il secondo album è davvero simile al primo, un brutto segno che ci dice che la fantasia di Burial non è infinita. Micro sinfonie su samples vocali, beats e synths sono ancora fondamentali in Near Dark, Ghost Hardware, con la vicina Raver che rappresenta l'atmosferica fine di uno spettro. Le canzoni spigolose sono quelle che fanno un uso creativo delle parole, in particolare Endorphin, che culla come una ninna nanna per bambini all'interno di una nebulosa elettronica, e Shell of Light, una mantra all'interno di una mantra all'interno di una curvatura spazio-temporale.

L'EP Street Halo (2011), composto di tre canzoni, contiene uno dei pezzi house più lineari, Street Halo, uno dei più lenti di sempre, NYC, e uno dei meno intensi, Stolen Dog. Invece, l'EP Kindred contiene tre lunghe suite che si collocano tra i tentativi più ambiziosi di Burial di ricostruire la propria arte: Kindred, Loner e Ashtray Wasp.

La raccolta di EP che comprende Street Halo/Kindred (Hyperdub, 2012), rappresenta un concentrato dello spleen di Halo (quasi una dubstep forte) e la ballata soul Stolen Dog, così come le sonorità acide e decostruite della garage Kindred e il crescendo sinfonico di Ashtray Wasp.

The EP Truant/ Rough Sleeper (2013) indulges in Burial's sonic alchemy. The 12-minute Truant begins as a relatively straightforward soul ballad, supported by the melancholy adagio of the electronics; but then it suddenly restarts as a syncopated cubistic dance jam; and then again with anthemic orchestral backing and little or no vocals, closer than ever to the disco-music of the 1970s; and then again and again. Basically, Burial turned classical music's concept of "variations" into a series of remixes of the song stitched together one after the other. By the end there is only an android pulsation. Similarly, the 14-minute Rough Sleeper begins like lightweight ambient house but then restarts as something else and keeps mutating with jazzy saxophone and soul vocals and Afro-Caribbean rhythm, ending with a coda of aquatic psychedelic ambient music.

The EP Rival Dealer (2013) was instead confusing. The first five minutes of Rival Dealer is a frenzied orgiastic dance and the 13-minute Come Down to Us sounds like an Indian or Arab remix of a sentimental Pet Shop Boys synth-pop ballad. The two compositions of the EP Subtemple (2017) sound more like Aphex Twin than Burial.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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