Burial
Rival Dealer


2.5
average

Review

by Olivier De Clercq CONTRIBUTOR (40 Reviews)
December 14th, 2013 | 206 replies


Release Date: 12/16/2013 | Tracklist


No matter how you feel about his achievements of late, the release of new Burial material is always a bit of an event. Just like last year, he's delivering an early Christmas present to the world in the form of this new three-track EP. The enigmatic producer seems to be fed up with the structure and limitations of full-length albums, because all his recent work is contained in several concise EP-packages; a format which enabled the man's imagination to roam more freely than ever. And with success, because last year's Kindred was without a doubt a milestone for Bevan, which really earned its place right next to the already legendary Untrue. The follow-up, Truant / Rough Sleeper, seemed like a bit of a hiccup along the way in comparison, and sadly, the new Rival Dealer suffers from the same problems.

What problems? Well for starters, the large sense of deja-vu that's permeating these three tracks. On a first glance, however, it does seem that Burial is abandoning the straitjacket of dubstep and UK garage, and is exploring new artistic territory. He's toying with (to him) exotic genres like breakbeat rave and pumping techno on 'Rival Dealer', or flirting with modern-day R&B and sluggish hip-hop on 'Hiders' and 'Come Down To Us'. Innovation? Hardly, because he's not actually putting his own take on those styles but rather employs fairly standard rhythmic templates and then sprays his characteristic vinyl crackle and melodramatic vocal samples over them. Those are tricks he's used a bit too many times in the past and as a result, the three tracks here are lacking in profound emotional impact.

It's not helping either that - just like on Truant / Rough Sleeper - he's bluntly patching his dozen different ideas together, instead of developing them individually into full songs. It's a shame, because some sequences here are truly stunning, like the gorgeous finale of 'Come Down To Us' or the gritty techno-centerpiece in the title track. However, the abrupt stop/start approach and the sappy monologues in between of the actual music almost completely sabotage the mood Burial is creating with these highlights. From his last couple releases, it's clear that he doesn't really concern himself anymore with simple concepts like structure nowadays, but that he's fine with just enjoying to wildly experiment with his clunky production software. Which is fine, really, but it's hard to argue that Bevan is still at his best when he's restraining himself a bit and working towards a clear and tangible goal. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a fan, and I'm looking forward to the undoubtly many great things he'll come up with in the future. But for the moment, Rival Dealer feels like a rather non-essential and even slightly disappointing placeholder for what's about to come.



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user ratings (351)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2013


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Neg away.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2013


3450 Comments


shit man i don't know what to think anymore

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2013


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Have you listened?

Havey
December 14th 2013


9684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Digging: Burial - Rival Dealer

edit: review looks pretty promising from a cursory glance, looking forward to reading it later (i want to actually listen to this
first)

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2013


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Fine, it's gone.

treeqt.
December 14th 2013


9704 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ok what happened here




: D

RadicalEd
December 14th 2013


2650 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Agree with clercqie. I was disappointed by this as well.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Typhoner
December 14th 2013


856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

he's doesn't really


"he doesn't"?

Anyway, it's a balanced review and there are some things I agree with, but overall I don't.

(Have a pos.)

Digging: Banks - Goddess

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2013


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nvm, I got it!

SeaAnemone
December 14th 2013


20322 Comments


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.


- Bevan, Fact interview
thought this was interesting

Digging: Holy Sons - Lost Decade II

Typhoner
December 14th 2013


856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I thought that was pretty obvious ;-)

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2013


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They're also suggesting he's coming out of the closet with this release...

Typhoner
December 14th 2013


856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, the Lana Wachowski sample? I think he used that because it's so powerful. I mean, he could have whatever existing sexuality there is, but there's really no reason to assume he his talking about that in this release. Where you could say that his older material is about doubt and feeling lost and alone, he tries to figure out now how to get out of that negative spiral. It can be interpreted in a more universal way than just "omg he's gay"

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2013


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Very much agreed. It's probably meant universally, because there also remains the fact he's never really opened about about his personal life and situation in any of his (rare) interviews or other tunes. It'd be some heck of a 180 turn.

BigPleb
December 14th 2013


36683 Comments


Review feels ranty in places but overall is a decent read.

Obv I disagree but pos.

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

Typhoner
December 14th 2013


856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

people like gossip, so...

it doesn't really feel ranty, but I don't agree that there's too much start/stop, at least not in a really annoying fashion.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2013


7291 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hiccup

straitjacket

Aside from that, this is the best of the Rival Dealer reviews we've had so far. Good job mate. Surprised why the Sput seems to dislike this so much. Also, get in here Deviant.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2013


3450 Comments


this is the best of the Rival Dealer reviews we've had so far.


Agree but that's also because the other one really isn't that impressive. Will listen to this soon

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2013


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

hiccup

straitjacket

Cheers man!

mindleviticus
December 14th 2013


8232 Comments


haven't heard this yet, gonna wait till I'm done exams, so that I don't explode in madness :]

Digging: Cultes Des Ghoules - Henbane



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