Music Review: Kode9 & Burial – FABRICLIVE 100

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Kode9 & Burial

FABRICLIVE 100

[fabric; 2018]

Rating: 4/5

What is a mix’s function? It seems related to, but different from an album, operating according to similar principles of coherence, but diverging from the former’s dependence on singular expression — the need for the album to stand as a body of work issued from one place only. The form of authority instantiated by the mix is more diffuse — looser — than that of the album; a mix can show its seams. In fact, this seems part of its appeal, its authorial weight emerging through the transparent production of a total soundworld, with tracklist in tow. With a mix, we become privy to the real-time arrangement of the constellation of sounds, aesthetics, and affects that make up an artist’s world, so that we might note the shapes, the centers of gravity, the warps and wefts that predominate. Which brings us to Fabriclive 100.

Kode9 and Burial’s mix functions as a exploration of the sounds of the hardcore continuum and as a charting of those contemporary global club musics whose only shared principle seems to be their digitized transmission. It’s pulled together by bass weight, arrayed around splintered forms, its multiplicitous histories and geographies shimmering into view atop the fading crackle of vinyl and the click-n-clunk of changing tapes. Within this nexus of sound, competing versions of the contemporary move with and through each other: for the valence of our current moment defined by disconnection and velocity, we have Klein’s fractured poetics, the brittleness of footwork, and the jagged harshness of Lechuga Zafiro. For the hauntological present — that mode of the contemporary defined by the slow cancellation of the future and the reproduction/repetition of the past — we have the ghosts of frayed jungle, washed-out rave, and malevolent acid.

These multiple histories and geographies mingle together, and Kode9 and Burial switch between them laterally, shunting a sound to the side just as another is phased in, an approach that imbues the mix with an odd sense of time and place, as hyperspecific geographies — Chicago, Durban, London — mesh with an eerie timelessness, a sense that these musics have become unmoored, adrift, lost in fog and rain. The mix’s complex temporalities and particular geographies make the act of listening recursive, as one is made acutely aware of one’s own position in relation to this music.

Consequently, there’s a mournfulness to be found here, as the impassability/impossibility of the distance joining listener and track is foregrounded: how could one have been “there” at the site of this music’s inception, where “there” is an east London rave in the 90s or a taxi in Durban in 2014? The spaces and times from which this music emerges recede, lost to the wildness of the past, while the music itself persists, leaving us with its aesthetic signifiers and sonic forms: gqom’s plosive kicks and eerie atmospherics, jungle’s spectral ambiences, footwork’s brittle hi-hats. These are the traces of this music’s mediation, the histories of its transmission across time and space.

And these traces inevitably alight at death, mediation’s steadfast companion. DJ Rashad’s “Let It Go” serves as one of the mix’s anchor points, a track that after Rashad’s death is overcoded with feeling, indexing a past that has ended and a future that will never arrive. “Let It Go” arrives only to be overtaken by hiss and static, unable to play out in full, breaking down.

But this breakdown does not signal an end. Rather, it serves to lay the foundations for new and different beginnings, as Kode9 and Burial follow the mutation of sonic signifiers — the jungle break, the footwork clap — as they become attached to new styles, places, and affects. An architecture of mediated sound is being built here, flecked with the indelible traces of the locations, communities, and forms of feeling contained in the music. And, importantly, the process of this construction is suffused with joy, with the afterglow of countless nights remembered and forgotten. In the housing of these transmissions from parallel dimensions, in the tracing of these complex temporal webs, in the encasing of it all — these histories, these places, those lost (RIP Spaceape), those still with us — we remain, with and in the music. Hands in the air, hearts on our sleeves.

Burial & Kode9 Release ‘Fabriclive 100′ Mix

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Kode9-and-Burial-Fabriclive-100Burial, the semi-reclusive creator of windswept and emotional downtempo dance music, does not release new things all that often. But he was so hyped up on Fabriclive 100, the new DJ mix that he made with fellow beat-music traveler Kode9 that he allowed us to see a second picture of his face. (Burial … More »

Kode9 and Burial team up for the last in Fabric’s mix series, Fabriclive 100

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At the risk of wearing out the pages in my thesaurus for the words “monumental,” “legendary,” and “historic,” allow me to bring you the very good news that Kode9 and Burial have joined virtuosic forces for what will be the 100th (and final!) installment in the Fabric Records mix series, Fabriclive 100. Quick, someone get me a towel, I’m practically drenched in enigma!

While the duo are keeping the tracklisting private until release day, we do have some kernels of information about what to expect, and my job is to take those kernels and reverse-engineer them into a corncob of a news story, so here we go! This is what we know: the mix is 74-minutes-long (!), will be released on CD on September 28 and a 4xLP unmixed vinyl edition on November 2 (!!), and it can be pre-ordered here (!!!). There is also some album cover art (!!!!). Hey, that’s actually a pretty solid amount of information!

But that’s all. I’m out of kernels. But at least we’re all gonna be basking in the prestige of this one all day! Go ahead! Go forth and bask! Pre-order the record first, but then, you know, bask away!

me and will – mix done – cheers

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Burial Reunites With Kode9 For Final Fabriclive Mix, Shares Rare Photo

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Burial & Kode9The London club and record label Fabric’s influential Fabriclive mix series, which dates back to 2001, is concluding next month with its 100th installment. And for that final mix, they’ve tapped some big names. More »

Flame 1 (Burial + The Bug) – “Shrine”

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Last week, we learned that the shadowy production genius Burial had joined forces with Kevin Martin, the versatile but intense beatmaker known as the Bug, to form a new duo called Flame 1. They’ve got a two-song single coming out later this month, and we posted “Fog,” the first of those two songs. Today, … More »

Flame 1 (Burial & The Bug) – “Fog”

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We last heard from Burial, the mysterious and reclusive British producer, when he came out with his Pre Dawn/Indoors EP back in October. And now he’s made another track of foggy, evocative, insular dance music. This time, though, he hasn’t done it on his own. More »

25 Great EPs From 2017

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Over the last couple years, we’ve seen the rise of the “mini-album,” an inexplicable term that is, I guess, supposed to signify some kind of intentionality and artistic vision that an EP simply cannot capture. It’s a designation that’s been rightfully met with ribbing derision, but it’s an interesting development that speaks to some larger … More »

Burial slings out ominously redolent ‘Pre Dawn/Indoors’ EP

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Burial‘s salient Untrue recently observed 10 years of rotation around the sun.

Since the masterpiece’s release, the ominous producer has remained an anomaly. An established recluse, Burial has long preferred that his music speak volumes. His very identity was kept at bay for the majority of the early part of his career.

Earlier this year, he made a re-appearance with his Subtemple EP and the eventual “Rodent,” which was an aloof, sultry original, gleaming in archetypally employed Burial ambiguity.

His tracks themselves have long evoked sentimentality and introspection in club culture. Further building on this very style are two new tracks apart of the artist’s debut on NonPlus+ — an electronic music label from London — run by Alex Green, or Boddika.

“Pre Dawn” is a haunting number, reminiscent of the aforementioned Untrue full-length, clocking in near 140 BPM and whisking away its listeners in its shroud, ice-cold quality. Upon its denouement, “Pre Dawn” returns to Earth where the scene transforms into dawn and carries the number into a synth passage. A voice appears to sing out, “Late at night… the energy… take me to the dream world.”

Further into this very reverie state, comes “Indoors.”

More hardcore than “Pre Dawn,” “Indoors” shelves out Burial’s classic garage and intersected rave style that took the underground by storm. It’s a vividly evocative number that needs no visual aid in envisioning its warehouse-reminiscent conditions

Burial is more than 10 years into his career, and with few releases in between, it remains a wonder when the artist will bestow a sonic gifting. Though aberrant and chaotic at moments, Pre Dawn/Indoors exude the beloved Burial elements, still reaching towards a sonic resolution, likely never to attain fulfillment — perhaps, intentionally.

 

Read More:

Burial – Rodent (Original Mix)

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Untrue Turns 10

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Not to go all Rick And Morty on you, but sampling in pop is a lot like parallel universes. In one timeline, Rick James is a headlining act, and in another, his most enduring hit is merely the backing track for “U Can’t Touch This,” one of the first rap crossover smashes, playing second fiddle … More »

Burial continues flurry of shorter releases, previews first EP for NonPlus Records, Pre Dawn/Indoors

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It’s never any fun to advocate resignation, but…when 10 years come and go following the latest Burial LP, it just might be time to give up hope. Just like how it might be time to give up hope for a selfie of the man that doesn’t pre-date the term, and which is awkwardly used everywhere these days because it’s the only non-candid photo we’ve got of the contentedly private musician.

Either way, we can always count on those severely contoured cheekbones to appear whenever news concerning his latter day work rolls rolls around — news, which, for better or worse, usually involves some teency-weency new micro-release that tragically leaves us desperately wanting more from the clandestine EDM champ. Consider the “Rodent” single released on Hyperdub just a few weeks ago…and before that, there was the Subtemple release, which clocked in at just over 17 minutes! (Ugh. Are fans doomed to endure this extremely gradual driiiiiiiip of music for however long Burial remains un-buried!??)

Oh well. Take what you can get, my friends. Because here’s another Burial release that barely whets the palate. It’s an EP called Pre Dawn/Indoors, and it’s out officially October 27 as his first release on the London-based NonPlus Records (pre-order on vinyl and download right here). On the plus side, NonPlus has beneficently uploaded a couple of 128 kbps clips, which you can listen to below if you find the will to suppress your inner audiophile. That bit rate is terrible! The music sounds okay, though.


Pre Dawn/Indoors tracklisting:

01. Pre Dawn
02. Indoors