Burial - Rival Dealer

This is becoming a thing now with Burial — we put out our year-end list in early December; he (she?) drops a new record a week later. Last year it was the One/Two EP; this year it’s Rival Dealer. The new EP was announced a mere week ago, and today, we have it for you to stream in full. Which, of course, you gotta do right now. Fortunately we still haven’t published our best-songs lists; now I just gotta figure out what to bump off mine to make room for “Come Down To Us.” Or “Hiders”? Goddamn. Listen below; you tell me.

“Rival Dealer”


“Come Down To Us”

The Rival Dealer EP is out 12/16 via Hyperdub.

Comments (80)
  1. I really hope this becomes a thing every Christmas, I can’t really think of a better present.

  2. “he (she?) drops a new record a week later…”

    Thought it was determined it’s a dude (William Bevin according to wiki.)

  3. Every time I think he can’t continue to make inspired, innovative songs that still retain his inimitable feel, he drops something amazing.

    Every time I think the well has run dry.

    Everything this guy releases is goddamn gold.

  4. This is so, so great. Burial’s the master.

    • Agree with oblivion below. That sound on Hiders was so unexpected. But I’m down. That roll around 2:40, I couldn’t stay seated.

  5. I can’t even find the right words for this. I just cried my way through the last minute of “Rival Dealers,” and I still have two tracks to listen to. I don’t think there’s another artist out there that I have 100% faith in to release great music every time. He seems like the type of artist who would be more likely to stop making music than to release something shitty (which reminds me of how another one of my favorite bands, Air France, sadly disbanded because they didn’t think they could reach their previous heights). But anyway, I hope Burial keeps making music for years to come.

    Alright, time for me to stop rambling and listen to “Hiders.”

  6. I haven’t listened yet, about to put on loop and sleep in for a few hours.

    I like that at least the track lengths are similar to “Kindred” — the greatest EP in a long time, unless “Rival Dealer” has something to say about that…


    • First off: INCREDIBLE

      It seems we’ve already addressed that WTF moment on “Hiders” and I mean that in only the best way possible. Sounds like he doubled down on the vocal samples this time around and that’s ONLY an excellent thing with Burial.

      “Come Down To Us” re-uses the, “There’s someone out there…” sample from “Loner” and TO MY EARS sounds like it’s using that intro sound to Jamie xx’s Gil-Scott Heron mix of “NY Is Killing Me” (it fades in and out of the song). It could be a number of things, but when I first heard it that song instantly jumped to mind.

      OK, now back to the top. Holy hell this is the best.

  7. Whoa he went all 80′s on “Hiders” an unexpected and cool sound change.

    • I’m flying home to the east coast today from the west coast and I think I’m just going to be looping Untrue now, the whole time..

  8. wow. woah. repeat

  9. Hiders reminds of James Blake’s To the last and both are very nice!

  10. “Come Down To Us” is just gorgeous all the way through. A lot of the beats on this EP sound fairly straightforward compared to his characteristic shuffling style. Really puts emphasis on the vocals and bass.

    And again: “Rival Dealer.” I would’ve thought it would be IMPOSSIBLE for Burial to top the end of his “Paradise Circus” remix, but the last minute of “Rival Dealer” does just that. I can’t even imagine what sort of praise Mary Anne Hobbs would heap upon this if she got a chance to play it.

  11. also on a much lesser note there is a new Tokyo Police Club song out today

  12. Unbelieve – and totally destroys my year end best list. Definitely one of my favorites of this year. Can’t believe the 80s R&B/Pop sound on Hiders and Come Back To Us. I love how it just drops out at the end with the line, You Are Not Alone…genius!

    Definitely a nice surprise and a great way to wrap up the year.

    Trumps Yeezus in my opinion… Just saying.

  13. Not to get over the top in hyperbolic praise, but I’m about to get over the top in hyperbolic praise: this is some of the most emotionally resonant electronic music I’ve ever heard, and definitely the most I’ve heard this year. Even with the great releases that came out this year (Tomorrow’s Harvest, Chance of Rain, R + 7, Engravings)… this is immediate in a way that I feel even some of his own past stuff hasn’t been… there have been several breathtaking moments on each of these tracks. I’m honestly stunned.

    Also a reminder that I haven’t revisited his past stuff in a while.

  14. Day = Made.

    That is all.

  15. Second half of Come Down To Us is really uplifting. Like emerging out of some gray cloud. Also, there’s an interesting narrative about transgender identity that I dug a lot there in the end.

    • Just going to throw this out there – is the whole thing about love/sexuality? There’s a part around 4:00 in rival dealer that talks about sexuality. There seems to be little threads throughout.

      Or maybe it refers to the impending race war?


      • I just refuse to believe the vocal samples are random

      • “There seems to be little threads throughout.”

        Like how “Rival Dealer” and “Hiders” both have a sample near the end that says “Come Down To Us”

        I was trying to integrate these songs into the above playlist, but I was failing because of how self-referential these three songs are to one another. They seem so tied together that the idea of breaking them apart seems premature. Experiencing these three songs together, in order, is the only way to do it now.

        As for the themes of sexuality, it seems like it’s tied to how uncertainty of one’s sexuality can lead to isolation. That bit at the end of “Rival Dealer” about the stars and the city lights seem to be Burial’s way of showing us that there is more out in the world and of course on “Come Down To Us” the “You are not alone” sample.

        My first listen I loved abundance of vocal samples in this EP. On further listens I’m with d-titties that these samples are far from random. Burial is conveying a message, which is why this has to be considered his best release to date.

        • RJC and DonTona = #burialtruthNOW #letsroll…

          The brief speech at the end of Come Down to Us seems like really pulling back the curtain on the theme of the entire project. It’s so oddly placed and I can’t think of any reason for it to be there other than to make a statement. When I listen back through the rest of it, having heard that part, it places the rest of come down to us in a much different context. #subjectivity

          It’s like when childish gambino posted that clip of the charles hamilton video at the end of centipede, except this is more important and less self-centred. SHOCKER.

          • It even has the vinyl popping sound about 10 seconds before the interview starts that generally signals that the needle has reached the inner ring of the record. Meaning (in the ideally near future) I would be getting up to flip it back to the front and would stop halfway to the table because her speech would start. So the way it’s placed makes it seem like a hidden track/bonus track #objectivity #CurtainPulled #burialtruthNOW

  16. Best response Flying Lotus gave during his recent Twitter Q&A session was when, asked if he had ever met Burial, he said “yes. He’s probably the only guy who wears full black addidas track suits too.” About matches my internal image of the guy.

  17. The “One/Two” EP you refer to is actually called “Truant/Rough Sleeper.”

  18. This is fucking awesome, but why hasn’t he released a new full-length yet? Does he just work better in these quick spurts these days

    • Seriously though, this whole thing is some of the most innovative stuff he’s put out yet. “Rival Dealer” is probably the most fierce Burial track ever, only to follow up with two of the most sensitive and vocally dominant ever as well. Bra. Vo.

    • I don’t mind the lack of a new full length seeing how consistently brilliant these EPs have been. This one in particular provided me with a level of emotional catharsis I rarely get from even full albums, let alone electronic EPs. I was looking forward to this but I never, ever imagined it would be this brilliant.

    • The EPs feel like a completely different exercise than the full-length to me.

  19. Unsurprisingly great. You know you can buy and download this right now, yeah?

  20. Most people just pay lip service to “evolution” as an artist. Now, THIS is evolution.

    I could hardly be happier to see new music from anybody else.

    • Yeah, the scratched vinyl popping sound are there, as are the spooky vocal samples, but he/she/they definitely moved into some completely different territory structurally and tonally. Parts of “Come Down To Us” are actually uplifting and joyous sounding.

  21. Every time Burial comes out with a new EP, initially I think “Fuck! Just three tracks?” And then I listen to the thing and it’s ridiculously fulfilling. I need to learn.

  22. Chills. and tears. goddamn this is fantastic.

  23. This is hitting some sort of chord within me. Like everyone has been saying, with the 80′s vibe just rainbowroading all over it – I’m in the back third of come down to us and I feel like i’m on a digital wave splashing across a reboot ocean into the coast of a unicorn island, with sand made of neon blue crystals and super mario.

    I can’t imagine myself listening to anything other than this for quite some bits, ya hear?

  24. Holy shit, “Come Down To Us” just wrecked me.

  25. Ep of the year. Just in time.
    Change all your lists, there’s a new king in town.

  26. In a tiny London nightclub an inter-dimensional super computer is trapped in a time shift, constantly shifting back and forth from 1980 through to 2050 and back again. Having gained sentience this artificial intelligence attempts to communicate, but is only able to do so by reconfiguring and adapting the sounds it hears. Those sounds are then transmitted in unique new patterns as a low frequency signal. The signals are recorded and released by BBC scientists who were initially attempting to prove the existence of extra-dimensional life, but now release the transmissions as music recordings. As the computer comes to understand emotions such as love and loss the transmissions become more complex, and just as its mysterious creators intended, the computer guides us to a higher plane of spiritual existence. The recordings are released during the holiday season under the name Beatific Universal Recordings Inspiring Astral Love: Burial.

    At least that’s the most likely explanation anyway…

  27. I’m actually surprised, upon first listen I’m not really into the vibe of this record. It comes over as a bit cheap to me with all the auto-tuned vocals and the dramatic synths. I feel the same way about Jon Hopkins and the exuberant backing vocals on Yeezus. Whereas in Burial’s previous work the darkness kinda compensated for that. It’s still kinda off though, still not squeaky clean at least. I’m slightly bored with the constant fuzz interjections and crackles that has become part of his sound too, here they don’t seem to add anything, rather just act more like a habit.

  28. Fucking beautiful, as always.

    On a side note, this is why sites shouldn’t start posting year-end lists until the year – you know – actually ends…

  29. After listening to this about ten times it finally hit me; it’s really one piece of music, but with movements (and parts within those movements), like a symphony.

  30. OK, I know this never goes well…but I was really inspired, and I made something:


    Forgive me if this is a faux pas, but it was a 5-hour creative binge, and I wanted to pass it on.

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