Boomkat Product Review:
Burial spoils us with his 2nd release of ’22, leaving the beats for dust and dialling up the ASMR ambient feels to tongue-tip, piloerect effect for lovers and lonely ravers.
Landing almost 15 years to the month since ‘Untrue’, the three durational parts of ‘Streetlands’ lend another panel to the widescreen ambient-cinematic tableaux that he’s been building for the past five years, or roughly since 2017’s ’Subtemple’, at least. Not gonna lie, we miss the beats, but are also more than happy to hear where he’s headed next with each turn, and this impressionist ambient phase is just pure magic. Isn’t it, though? Cynics be damned cos whatever it’s making us feel can’t be sniffed at.
Picking up where he left us with ‘Antidawn’ at the start of the year, he cooks up a proper endorphin rush with ‘Exokind’, lacing ‘90s prog-trance arps and gamer sci-fi pads along its spine, punctuated by incidental dialogue and nuff spidery webs of texture that help seal and secrete *that* feel. The cues are all patently late ’80s and thru the ‘90s, and sure to jerk the nostalgia nozzle for anyone who came thru in the UK back then, but u don't need to have lived that life to get it.
‘Hospital Chapel’ however pulls back from any overt cues to pure ambient inference, all noctilucent choral pads and crackle, feint hints of a lighter sparking off, and scuffled wet gravel. Lonely as fuck, it leads to his unique sort of devastating heartache and the 15 minute final scene ‘Streetlands’, with sylvan keys, dolphin calls and windchimes that vacillate its boss level tension with the tenderest romantic pangs of Enya-esque keen, monk chants and godlight pads on the cusp of sublime dread.