- "I will always be there for you," wafts the vocal on "Young Death," returning to Burial's irresistible comfort zone. Prior to this 12-inch, William Bevan had been edging outside of his. On "Sweetz," this year's collaboration with Zomby, and 2015's "Temple Sleeper," released on Keysound, an unusual urgency emerged. Both tracks failed to convey the urban filigree that Bevan has previously sculpted with such care, so Young Death / Nightmarket feels like a gentle resetting of the course.
"Young Death" begins with the spark of a lighter, and then ushers you into an unusual time of day for Burial: sunrise. Set against wispy choral tones and shimmering chimes, the vocals sound crisp and cool. Later, a homespun arpeggio casts more daylight onto the music. Free of Burial's usual fog, the track's opening segment feels cleansing. When it takes a downcast turn in the last two minutes, however, something isn't right, sounding more like a shadow of a Burial tune.
Compared to the quiet, post-rave moments of previous Burial records, Young Death / Nightmarket retreats even further from the dance floor. On "Nightmarket," film dialogue (possibly from Alien) and a Blade Runner-esque synth channel sci-fi and computer games rather than pirate radio. It's rendered in neon instead, sharing the A-side's optimism and glow. But, in resisting the euphoric surges of Kindred and Rival Dealer, both tracks lack a certain quality. There are moments of hymnal beauty, but it's unmoored from the hardcore nostalgia of Bevan's most affecting music. The context for Young Death / Nightmarket is harder to grasp, and before you know it, it drifts away.
A Young Death