The last time Burial and Four Tet collaborated we got the exquisite “Moth,” a dark puddle of throbbing quicksilver. Now, a short two years later, William Bevan has sown his stunningly precise microbeats to the airy fabric of Kiernan Hebden’s percolating synthwork. And instead of simply trying to recapture the magic, they bring along Thom Yorke’s alchemical voice to conjure new spells.
“Ego,” the a-side of the trio’s forthcoming 12” single, is a gentle propelled by the interplay between Burial’s beat and Four Tet’s liminal synth, and Yorke, for his part, cooly sings just slightly above his sleepiest slur. The song’s middle section is relatively conventional, but the piano and the starkly insistent beat that dominate the second half the track. Likewise, the flipside’s “Mirror” is an elegantly effortless affair that ends with a sad R&B sample left more or less in tact. Bevan obviously handles the beats, Hebden clearly creates the squiggly, smeary sounds, and Yorke makes it all sound even prettier. The division of labor on these tracks seems to be so clear that they must represent the anthem of some egalitarian commune.
While the first run of singles were snatched up very fast (even for internet time), here’s hoping for a second and a third and a fourth and . . .