Burial – Rival Dealer (EP) (Hyperdub)


What a way to cap off an incredible year of music with a new EP from the mighty Burial.

The arrival of new music from Burial isn’t so much a release as it is an event. The ‘Rival Dealer’ EP features 3 brand-new tracks; ‘Rival Dealer’, ‘Hiders’ and ‘Come Down To Us.’ The mysterious and elusive Burial (real name: Emmanuel Bevan) “spoke” about the new EP via a text message, which was read out on the Mary Anne Hobbs BBC 6Music show. The text message said “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.”

In comparison to last year’s ‘Truant / Rough Sleeper’ EP, the 10+ minute “Rival Dealer” simultaneously revisits elements from his two full-length records and continues to evolve, completely transcending the dubstep genre.

The EP’s title track is the up-tempo and danceable we’ve heard Burial to date. “Rival Dealer” incorporates the use of spoken-word samples, sweeping melodies, and soulfulness of his classic ‘Untrue‘ album, as well as the epic arrangements shown on the ‘Truant / Rough Sleeper’ and ‘Kindred’ EP’s. The song itself is like 3 distinctively separate songs merged into one and continues Burial’s progression and evolution as an artist, including the introduction of some truly old-school euphoric rave qualities.

The beat is straight-up 90’s inspired and more akin to say, The Future Sound of London only textured by Burial’s trademark glitch-y dubstep beats. Along with the beat, the track is characterised by a driving, post-punk inspired bass line, vinyl crackling, swarming atmospheric pads, and a heartfelt pitch-shifted vocal hook.

“Rival Dealer” is classic Burial but also feels like it’s a departure of sorts too. However one thing remains consistent and that is the emotion and atmospheric qualities that define Burial’s work are still well in tact. 

The EP ‘Rival Dealer’ was released on 16 December, 2013 and is available now via Hyperdub.

Listen to the track “Rival Dealer” below: