Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Bloc Party, "Where Is Home? (Burial remix)" (YSI link)
Jamie Woon, "Wayfaring Stranger (Burial remix)" (YSI link)
Blackdown, "Crackle Blues (Burial remix)" (YSI link)
I'm not quite ready to put Burial behind us, so I wanted to take a look at the man's remixes from the past year. There seems something almost wrong about having the mysterious Burial lend his talent to someone else's music, his own music seems like an obsession that requires every second and every ounce of his talent. In some ways, after listening to these remixes, there seems to be a little truth to this, as nothing comes close to his own originals.
The main draw here is the Bloc Party remix for "Where Is Home," his first major remix as far as I know. The original comes from A Weekend In The City, an album that has grown on me all year. Burial takes the original out of the arena and brings it to the late-night streets. Things start off with what sounds like a steady rainfall you would expect in an old noir film, you can almost feel the fog coming in as the song goes ahead. From there, Burial brings in the breakbeats and effects, plus a really nice piano fill that create a great new version of this song about dislocation, identity and belonging. There's an odd breakdown in the middle, a sort of extension of the song's first few seconds, it breaks up the momentum for me. But other than that, it's a nice remix, completely transforming the original and in many ways providing a more proper mood for the lyrics of this song.
In a similar vein, Jamie Woon's "Wayfaring Stranger" delves into similarly important topics. Fortunately, Burial has provided a remix that does away with the nearly acapella gospel sound of the original, unsettling things and providing a proper home for this wayfaring stranger. Interestingly, the vocals are untouched for the most part, a departure from Burial's originals. That's not a bad thing, as Woon has a beautiful voice. The drums are standard, it's all about the haunting reverb sound that sit a little back in the mix, or even the vinyl crackles buried deep down too. Finally, I threw in the Burial remix of Blackdown's "Crackle Blues," a rare foray into remixing a dubstepper. It's definitely a departure from the other, dominated by a hi-hat beat that sits front and center. It's everything that goes on around that center that make this my favorite of the lot. From the ghostly sorta-voices in the background to the deep, subterranean bass, this remix haunts your ears in a good way. He does all this at such a measured pace too, never rushing or forcing things, it creeps up on you in a way few songs do.
Like I said Friday, you need to get a copy of Burial's Untrue LP as soon as possible.