Burial – “Rival Dealer” & “Hiders” & “Come Down to Us” (Rival Dealer EP)

Earlier today, at around 10am, the nocturnal and bristly beats, clicks, and hiss from the brand new Rival Dealer EP from the unidentified, mysterious, and highly-acclaimed UK producer Burial were freshly streaming from the Internet and pummeling my headphones.

At this exact same time I found myself surfing the sweetest crest of a surging wave of caffeine and as a result, I was frantically jotting down notes on how this was the greatest, most emotive, most informed, most relevant audio collage since DJ Shadow‘s Endtroducing LP as I tripped the light roast fantastic.

Now, in the cold, sober lamp-light of 6:33pm, I’m listening to the EP again, half-expecting to find that my previous thoughts were somewhat of an overstatement, but no. No, no. This is, really is, incredibly good.



Clicking play, I’m instantly transported from the warm concrete, fumes, and sand of Los Angeles to the drizzle, damp bricks, and jet-black sky of Hackney, 3am.



Burial – “Rival Dealer” (Track 1)



The EP is pure 2013, but veers toward the 1980s on the “Hiders” beat. Those toms!


Even more unexpected are the moments of lightness, optimism, and lift, like stumbling upon a £20 note on your rainy walk home in the early hours.



Burial – “Hiders” (Track 2)



Clicks, hiss, white noise, slippery vinyl rewinds, rain, dramatic black-and-white movie dialogue, churning garage beat chuggery.


I’m sure Burial records all of his music in a washing machine full of lint.



Burial – “Come Down to Us” (Track 3)




You listen to this music on the inside. It inhabits you.




Rival Dealer is out December 16 on Hyperdub. It is bound to capsize many year-end lists.




And for those that aren’t satisfied, including myself, that Burial’s real name is William Bevan and instead suspect that it really is an alias of  Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet, Hebden posted on Twitter today that he was “in the woods… listening rival dealer for the first time.” I joked that he was actually the one who made Rival Dealer, and then later noticed that he had deleted the original tweet. Why? Let the conspiracy wheels churn, like that staticky garage beat.