That's right. And he's pulling out all the cinematic, richly textured, hard-hitting percussive stops for the 'Kindred' EP.
There's something brewing deep down in the UK underground. Things have been relatively quiet around Will Bevan since he released 'Untrue' in 2007 to much critical acclaim. Despite the praise for his sophomore effort, however, Burial has only given us a few peeks at his production skills when collaborating with Thom Yorke and Four Tet or most recently on his Street Halo single. Now, the Brit is back with an EP on his UK home turf, Hyperdub.
In classic Burial style, the Kindred EP is stripped down, cinematic, and incredibly rich in texture. Where Untrue carried a vibe of haunted isolation, this release goes for a grittier sound. A-side "Kindred" mixes his signature vocal collages with a foundation of percussion that is more hard-hitting than anything we have previously heard from his hand. There is a primal sense of urgency behind the snappy snares, as we travel through 11 minutes of rainy scenery.
On the flip, "Loner" errs closer to Berlin's pulsating techno scene than the dark London underground. Rough arpeggios bounce off a high tempo drum pattern, with an ominous layer of vocal samples and synthesizers continuously fading in and out of focus. Again, there is less emphasis on the stylized and emotionally twisted sound that made Bevan's music turn heads in the first place.
This would of course have been a major loss, had his new outfit been less exciting. Fortunately, Burial's new output is every bit as engaging as what he has previously crafted. While Kindred marks a shift in Bevan's production style, his new sound still explores the dichotomy between fragile falsettos and haunting low-end with rich contrasts. Even as his attention seems to have drifted from UK bass music to house and techno grooves, Bevan is as uncompromising as ever.
Grab or stream the digital EP from Hyperdub and watch out for the imminent vinyl release.