Burial’s track ‘Chemz’ is twelve minutes of blissful garage

Burial has dropped his most recent single ‘Chemz’ on Kode9’s label, and it certainly puts the “hyper” in Hyperdub. It upholds his penchant for December releases, and follows his recent collaboration with Four Tet and Thom Yorke, ‘Her Revolution / His Rope’.

This latest track is a chaotic love letter to dancing. Multiple club-orientated genres chop in and out, adding to its pace and old-school flavour. Racking up 2-step garage beats, abrasive breaks and heart-stabbing trance, it culminates with a final section that is high-voltage and leaves you with a dizzying electrostatic shock.

Chemz harnesses familiar crackly elements. Pitch-shifted vocal samples, as usual, give a sense of an attentive touch. It is just as transportive as the rest of his discography. Revered by the likes of Mark Fisher for his careful, spectral discrepancies in music texture, Burial again displays his ability to carry us to a 90s hardcore rave and appeal to a nostalgic sensibility.
Yet now, this 12-minute time-machine provides an energy flash that simultaneously looks forward, to a rush of post-pandemic bliss. Between the past and the future, Chemz is a purgatorial emotional overdrive.

Header image via Hyperdub