Burial – Rival Dealer

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Burial - Rival DealerArtist:
Album: Rival Dealer
Label: Hyperdub
Release Date: December 11, 2013

Fruitless anticipation. Unrequited hope. A theme of futility. This EP begins in a frantic pace that escalates to a head spin within the vigorous first track, “Rival Dealer,” as if on the verge of a climax—yet the mood drops before ever seeming to reach what’s sought after. Steaming anguish evolves into a more subtle melancholy, infused with a bit of wonderment, as the BPM slows down and unravels into the next track.

“Hiders” brings about a change of heart towards the album. There is a feeling of faith that intertwines the despair, and a more familiar Burial that listeners have come to know peeks through. The tempo slows down yet again and wraps up the EP with “Come Down to Us,” a lengthy 13-minute piece first fueled by longing vocals and then, an enlightenment as the mood shifts one more time to a lighter beat.

There are only three tracks on this album, but the near half hour produced by Burial feels complete altogether. The sampled vocals layered throughout the EP seem to be tailored to the emotions that William Bevan was trying to either depict or escape. Each track reigns its own stage in telling the overall story of the album’s journey including disillusionment, sorrow, acceptance and bliss.

“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.” –Burial via text message to Mary Anne Hobbs, BBC Radio 6

Review by Catherine O’Hara

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