Burial, Putney‘s favourite beat-making, stairwell-peeping post-garager/dubstepper/junglist has teamed up once again with another one of Putney‘s finest electronicae Four Tet on new double A side ‘Ego/Mirror’, following the pretty brilliant ‘Moth/Wolf Cub’ in Summer 2009. Along for the ride is Oxford’s wannabe beatmaker/credible stadium filler Thom Yorke.
The result are two tracks with murky bass, trebley, nostalgic drums and some warm, glossy swells/fades. Continuing from the ‘Moth’ single is the way in which both Will Bevan and Kieran Hebden both compliment each others styles – Hebden bringing a warmth and groove unfamiliar in Bevan’s work, and Bevan bringing in the cutting/cold stylistics of his excellent two albums thus far. ‘Ego’ is the stronger track, as a spinning, atmospheric and heady piece punctuated by lazy, distorted lolls of xylophone loops.
However, the problem here is Yorke. His vocals, suitable as they may be for Radiohead’s brand of ‘Q.I alternative rock’, almost feel irritating and add no atmosphere to the tracks. In a way, they make the beat feel more processed and nothing-y. ‘Mirror’ especially suffers from this, with Yorke’s sampled vocal rises almost sounding like a Radiohead pastiche. This is in spite of the great, rollocking rising bass which is as strong as either artist has produced before.
I’d reccomend this, but I’d listen to ‘Moth’ first (and both of Burial’s albums, and Four Tet’s ‘Rounds’, ‘PAUSE’ and ‘There Is Love In You’) .