Thursday, May 07, 2009
Burial. Four Tet. Aside from each attending the same school it seems an odd collaboration. Burial’s aesthetic is pared down to not just sifting through the refuse of a particular seam of UK garage but certain hours of the night, atmospheric conditions and London boroughs. Whereas Four Tet’s Keiren Hebden thrives on stylistic profligacy; taking inspiration from slews of post-rock, cosmic jazz, folk, post-J Dilla beat craft and, yes, garage. One a moth, one a wolf cub.
If the clanks like rusted windchimes under flickering strip lighting that open “Moth” could be either of them, then the swung hi-hats and ebb and flow that, despite the four to the floor four kick, is more lung motion than heartbeat of the rest of the track really does sound like a combination of their strengths—Burial moving from darkly cramped garage to unrenovated house. It’s a doer upper. Only the dislocated female vocals that are more gesture than sense sound imported wholesale from Burial’s usual palette.
Whilst “Moth” synthesises, “Wolf Cub” is scrappier. The never quite reconciling thumb piano loops and deep tubular chords sound like Four Tet, then when the scratchy, itchily swung beat enters two-and-a-half minutes in, well, there’s Burial. The two levels never quite meet, never converse, just warily circle like Japanese fighting fish.
(Track titles may be reversed!)