Night Tracks Classics: Burial - South London Boroughs

Burial - South London Boroughs (Hyperdub)

Hit play. Wait. Wait. Wait. Ok, carry on reading. Did you hear that? That first 53 seconds is the pinnacle of all music ever created. I’ve spoke about street sounds before, but that is THE sound of the streets.

What a way to introduce yourself to the world. The rest of the track is dominated by the menacing bass rumbling away underneath the skittery drums that would become Burial’s trademark, with dark, warped stabs coming through that sound a lot like those on Teebee – Let Go, but those distant horns are still there, occasionally surfacing from the noise. I’m surprised this one never made it onto the album, but whatever, it exists, and the world is a better place for it.

Burial - Southern Comfort (Hyperdub)

Almost the brother track to South London Boroughs, they sound very similar, those Teebee-esque warps reappearing, the pounding drums with the hi-hats shuffling over them. If this doesn’t remind you of sitting on a train home, well, then you’ve never sat on a train.

Burial - Broken Home (Hyperdub)

For a track with such a sad name, this is probably Burial’s most upbeat moment. If there was a Burial track you could cruise around in your car with the windows down to, it would be Broken Home. The horns make a reappearance, and that isn’t a bad thing at all, I love them. Apply those horns to everything.

Burial - Nite Train (Hyperdub)

Evidently Burial agrees. Those horns are used copiously in Nite Train, accompanied by frantic drums, and the “Close your eyes… Let the rhythm get into you” vocal that invokes nostalgia of some old school jungle tracks, even though it’s a sample from Michael Jackson – Rock With You. Burial has a magic ability to completely transform vocals, which would become more evident on his second album, Untrue.