Claustro / State Forest
Arguably one of the mysterious and most forward-thinking artists to grace the age of the internet, Burial – real name William Bevan – has mandated his artistic vision in such an idiosyncratic manner that he has aptly collected a thriving cult audience. Staying far away from public eyes, Bevan has remained shrouded in an enigmatic aura – creating an essence around his artform that maintains itself as undecipherable. Ever since his eponymously-named debut album, Burial has aptly sculpted out a cryptic legacy through a discography filled with enigmatic energy. To this day, both of his album’s remain staples for anyone pertaining to the art of production-based music. After Hyperdub notified fans of a new back-to-back single just weeks ago — teasing new material nearly two years after the prodigious artist’s last release — Burial has finally returned with an immensely layered extended play, entitled Claustro/State Forest.
Staying true to his distinguishing sound, Burial’s latest tracks operate as if they were individualized opuses. Scrupulously constructed, both tracks stay true to Bevan’s uniquely fractured breakbeat sound, with pitch-shifted and distorted vocals that relish alongside rolling drums and video game sounds that mimic those of a slowly drowning computer. The soundscapes stay true to Burial’s uniquely dystopian vision, and in normative fashion, maintains a contradictive sheen of eeriness alongside warm and lush tonalities.
The EP’s first track “Claustro,” maintains with Burials signature dance-like breaks — it is more uptempo than the final track, providing a more sanguine sonic sphere. “State Forest” contradicts this, employing his classic downtempo ambiance — a track so fervently-tinged that it acts like a dystopian-packed novel, just as it does an 8-minute track. It’s hard to decipher the number of layers involved in the latter track – vocals distort, water drips, vinyl crack, lighters open, light switches turn on and off, wind chimes tinkle, knives unsheath, and synths howl – what maintains Burial’s essence is the exact mystery behind its creation.