Album of the Week: Burial’s Young Death / Nightmarket (2016)

So, like most things Burial, this isn’t actually an album. By my count, Burial has released 20 singles and EPs since 2007’s full-length Untrue. Some of these releases are collaborative, most are solo. Some are one track, most are 2-4. There’s a lot of gems in the group, but this one stands out to me.

Side A’s “Young Death” has a heartbeat and ghostly vocal samples, at least for its first 3-and-a-half minutes (this section would fit well on Untrue). After that, things slow down to a crawl as thunder, breathing and a perfectly placed Skull Kid laugh create the track’s atmosphere. This section feels to me like a precursor to the B-side.

On “Nightmarket”, Burial flips an esoteric Mike Oldfield sample, and the result is like a rave frozen in time, or the biggest moment in trance suspended in amber. To me, it’s sort of like the spacey portion of “Born Slippy” in its epic reach. This sample recurs several times in the first 3 minutes of the track, and I spent countless nights in college with this addictive moment soundtracking nighttime wanderings about campus. The rest of “Nightmarket” (outside of its open space and vinyl hiss) diverges with a slew of video game-y prog-electro. Unlike “Young Death”, there is no backbeat on the track. Its Burial at his most mysterious.

Listen to “Young Death / Nightmarket” here.

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