Burial has been rather prolific over the last couple years, despite no sign of his long-awaited third album. His latest project, Antidawn, is long enough to qualify as that mythologized album. However, it’s smartly classified as an EP, because this is likely his sparsest, barest work yet.
These days, Burial seems content to look back at his legacy. Recently, he’s collaborated with old friends Four Tet and Thom Yorke on a pair of low-key songs, pulled old tricks out of his hat on a split EP with fellow London dubstep artist Blackdown, and released a reissue of most of his songs over the ’10s. Antidawn doesn’t stray too far from these projects, taking Burial’s trademark ambiance and dialing it up to the maximum.
Strip away the idiosyncratic drums from Burial’s sound and you’re left with this project. While there’s few new ideas here, it hardly matters when the results are this enchanting. Burial shows a lot of restraint on this album, guiding the listener through several minutes of haze to present them with precious moments of melodic clarity… Only to strip it away seconds later.
Across these 40 minutes, Burial does what he does best– he constructs a soundscape that feels like an entire universe. Is he doing it to diminishing returns? Sure, maybe. But there are many moments here to remind the listener the magic of Burial’s sound is not lost.