Features | Awards

The Jesus Christ, It's Three In The Morning And I Don't Recognize This Part Of Town Award

By Calum Marsh | 16 December 2009

Burial :: “Fostercare”
from Five Years Of Hyperdub
(Hyperdub; 2009)

There are plenty of artists, from Merzbow to Nurse With Wound to just about everybody on Southern Lord, whose music is meant to frighten, or at least greatly discomfort, its listeners. Burial’s music can affect people in much the same way, but it never seems like the intention is to confront or disturb. “Fostercare,” like Moth/Wolf Cub and Untrue (2007) before it, shows Burial as the David Lynch of music: this stuff doesn’t exactly conform to the typical conventions of horror, but the tone—surreal but emotive, dark but not overly serious—can often terrify. But this is still dubstep, and so the whole thing is buoyed by a weird sort of levity. It’s not really for the club, but there’s no better soundtrack for the long stumble home: “Fostercare,” like all of Burial’s music, just feels like these things: it’s three in the morning, I don’t recognize this part of town, and though these back alleys and dumpsters and piss-soaked subway tunnels share a kind of grotesque beauty, I wouldn’t dare linger—those disembodied voices freak me out.