Bought it directly from Bandcamp, it was very cheap and definitely high quality. As for the music itself, Truant for me is Burial working at his peak. Here, he's working in complete freedom to take his music wherever he wants, and it's a complete pleasure to listen to him being so creative. I like most of his output but this particular record is definitely on another level. I know this music will live with me forever, and I'm very grateful for it.
The soundtrack to multiple Adam Curtis films, Curtis put this once maligned piece in his documentaries as emotive, transitional motions to full effect. The two are so intrinsically linked in my mind, now, it's hard to think of either separately. Would love to see a Burial/Curtis collaboration.
Some of Burial's finest work yet. Here William Bevan has developed upon the broken, sketchy sound heard on the Kindred EP.
'Truant' begins with a dark, garbled drone, sounding like distant cars speeding across the cityscape. The track builds it's starting momentum using the combination of moody synth work and deep, dark bass drowned in reverb - it sounds quite minimal for Burial. It's not long before you hear the obscure, diva-like voice, harkening back to the days of UKG, also drowned in reverb - these elements come together to make something really quite cinematic. This minimal introductory 'sketch' continues until the audio suddenly cuts out - coming back in with a thicker sound, even deeper bass and garbled vocals and a number of subtle background noises that really help to give a sense of tension. Again, this is another 'sketch' in the scheme of the track. This sketch slowly evolves into a calmer exercise in vocal sampling and synth/drum, sounding like the collective sound of the city echoing contained inside a large room. Again, it evolves into another sketch, this time bringing in garbled orchestral samples and a rather distant sounding vocal sample; this is built up to an almost overwhelming, celebratory tone - unusual for Burial's productions. Then, again - the audio cuts out, and re-introduces itself into the mix, caked in dusty crackles with a bassline throwing itself back to 90's jungle, retreating back to a rather murky carvenous space - this sketch fades out with the help of some hazy samples and crackle and then bursts into what sounds like a number of Burial's older tracks played all at once, creating an intense, urgent atmosphere, with some really interesting work with garbled snares towards the end, that plays itself out and subsequently ends the track.
'Rough Sleeper' begins with a similar drone to 'Truant'. The atmosphere is a little more up-beat, with organ chords and pitch shifted vocals and house-y drums - rather soulful, until the track drops into a fat bassline unlike anything i've heard before; nicely crafted and minimal, accompanied with more pitch shifted vocals and a gorgeous saxophone sample towards the end of this first sketch, which crackles out and returns with more ferocity and drama, alongside some dextrous interplay between vocal samples. This sketch fades out the audio returns with some melancholic chimes and vinyl crackle, morphing into a complex, yet restrained interaction of percussive elements, synths and vocals samples. It's not dark though - quite uptempo and wide-eyed for Burial. This sketch is played out more-so than any other on the EP, building up a celebratory tone, helped especially by a distant sounding chime that is quite prominent in the mix. This sketch and the next are stitched together by a quiet vinyl crackle - and we return to a darker sound introduced by some ambient noise and airy synths. One gets carried into this 'movement' with more complex percussion and a strained synth. Here the mix becomes more abstracted, utilising garbled, moody synths, vocal samples and trademark Burial drums (although not too prominent), until the track cuts off abruptly with a vinyl crackle.