Burial – ‘Ashtray Wasp’

Burial's 11 minute comeback song

The ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ of dubstep?

Well not quite but this 11 minute long slab of neo-atmospheria is as subtle and inventive as you’d come to expect from the godfather of the genre. He’s not strayed from ‘Untrue”s vision, we don’t imagine his shadowy presence will be customizing a Britney track with a dubstep breakdown anytime soon.

It’s business as usual. But what business! ‘Ashtray Wasp’ is undercut by the creaking of vinyl underfoot, which doubles as the sound of a crackling fire or leaves being trampled underfoot. These sounds are the only constant, as the song shape shifts into several different phases.

The tinkling of glass jars being tapped, vocals crackling through earphones and the engine hum of a lonely road trip are just some of the visual pictures he paints here. The totality of his vision is one of a restless inner city. The city that never sleeps. Or indeed wakes from its insomniac fug. Even the title ‘Ashtray Wasp’ invokes slightly unsettling images of urban decay.

‘Untrue’ may have come out five years ago, but its influence can be tracked from the xx to Radiohead and The Weeknd. ‘Ashtray Wasp’ continues the legacy of that albums’ nocturnal melancholic menace.