- Burial does a breakup song.
- The intro to the new Burial tune, "Old Tape," sounds like the opening moments of a stadium rock show. A snaking riff, worthy of Slash or Santana, pierces the sound of chirping crickets. The first time I heard it, I was startled and intrigued. What was Burial up to? Could this be the first sign of a strange new direction?
No. "Old Tape," which features on a new compilation from Hyperdub and Adult Swim, recalls Burial around 2012 and '13, when emotional epics with soft centres replaced ash-grey atmospheres and clanking garage beats. It's not quite as colourful as "Hiders" or "Come Down To Us," but it's up there, with glistening pads and wicked trance riffs mixed in with the Londoner's usual ticks—faraway thunder, vinyl crackle, spectral coos—and a four-on-the-floor thud. The main vocal samples ("I can love you," "You were my girl") are graceless by his standards, though try telling that to anyone listening with a broken heart.
Bang on halfway, the track fades to crackle and a cassette tape is flipped in a deck. This move, a trick heard before on "Pre Dawn," signals a fresh rush of nostalgic melodies, including the one that opened the record, which might prove as divisive as the vocals. (I'm into its flute-like tone, if only for the novelty factor.) That aside, Burial isn't doing much new here. But that won't stop you hitting play again and again.