Burial - Chemz

  • A winding, 12-minute epic of 2-step and UK hardcore.
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  • The Burial Christmas single is back. The tradition that produced some of his best tracks—"Come Down To Us" and "Truant" among them—hasn't really been a thing since 2016, but that feeling of a lengthy new Burial tune landing just before December 25th is as reassuring as a spiked mug of hot cocoa. Even more so once you hit play on "Chemz" and hear those familiar elements: foggy synths, the clank of metal, a pitched-up vocal sample. Then it goes zoom, launching into one of the gnarliest 2-step beats Burial's ever done. "Chemz" is breathless, even compared to Burial's recent trance-inflected material. The vocals—recognizable samples from Ne-Yo and Allure—repeat endlessly and jostle into each other. It's fast, disorienting and overloaded with feeling. It wouldn't be a late-period Burial track without an abrupt transition. About seven minutes in, the UK garage beat transforms into roughhousing breaks, and the frantic mood suddenly makes sense: this is Burial's version of early '90s UK hardcore, with its tireless rave stabs, heaving breaks and helium vocal samples. "Chemz" is his most head-scrambling effort since the teary-eyed "Come Down To Us," but where that track was nearly weighed down by its own sentiment, "Chemz" soars, in the words of its most memorable vocal sample, "high as fuck."
  • Tracklist
      01. Chemz