Category Archives: Burial

“Paradise Circus”- Massive Attack vs Burial (Remix Series #1)

I have found myself listening to a lot of remixes lately, perhaps because of Skrillex? (More on that in a later post). Whatever the reason is, I wanted to do a series on my current favorite remixes. So in the upcoming post, look for some really neat reworkings of Nine Inch Nails, Massive Attack, The Doors, and more!

As a rule, I love the originals of songs the best and really don’t go seeking out remixes or covers. For me, covers are never as good as the original since I am so familiar with the original and any deviation just seems wrong, especially if it is a different voice. Remixes however normally contain the same vocals and much of the same musical quality of the original, just spun a bit differently. The best type of music to remix in my opinion is electronic music since it just seems to lend itself to be reworked very easily.

For example, Massive Attack can be described as a trip hop, ambient, and electronical in sound. They play around with many different background sounds to produce songs that not only have powerful lyrics but songs that create an sensual, relaxing, and at sometimes psychedelic aura. Thus, when I saw that Burial, another one of my favorite electronic artists, partnered up with Massive Attack to produce not one but two songs, I was ecstatic.

Robert Del Naja and Grant Marshal of Massive Attack and the cover of Burial's album Untrue

As much as Massive Attack creates an amazing background landscape for their songs, Burial creates landscapes that ARE his songs. He takes  countless layers of interesting songs, and then loops, mixes, and distorts them until they have the power to make you feel things you thought were impossible to experience while listening to music. In his remix of “Paradise Circus,” he does just that. He brings in sounds from the original song and mixes them with others. The best part of the remix is how he keeps the beauty of the vocalist (Hope Sandoval) while slowing down the tempo and adding a dreamy fuze to the piece.

Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star amoung other acts

As a warning, the song is long (over 12 minutes) and does deviate from the original “Paradise Circus” quiet a bit. In the last 4 minutes, it is hardly recognizable with swelling arpeggios and hugely-distorted vocals. However, I am fine with it. I love the beginning of the Burial’s–it is a true remix of “Paradise Circus” and keeps the very sensual but melancholy and yearning feeling of the original. The rest of the song has this same feeling while incorporating Burial’s signature style. I love both renditions and I will listen to them both at different times depending on my mood. Additionally, I hope that these artists collaborate more in the future. The combination of their styles is breathtaking.

Massive Attack vs Burial “Paradise Circus”


Massive Attack “Paradise Circus”

Have a favorite remix you want to share?


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Filed under 2-Step Garage, Ambient, Burial, Massive Attack, Remix, Trip Hop

“Forgive”- Burial and the Power of Music

This semester, I am taking a Music and the Mind class. Right now the class is rather boring since we are sort of learning about the evolution of music and how it compares to language by using  a linguistic standpoint. But I am really excited to see how the class progresses and hopefully we will spend a lot of time on how music can have such a profound effect on emotions.

Obviously, the lyrics of songs can affect emotions greatly, from songs about happy times to sad love songs. For example, “Almost Lover” by A Fine Frenzy will always remind me of my ex-“whatever we were but definitely not boyfriend and girlfriend.” The lyrics to me describe what we almost had and what we will never have again.

Goodbye, my almost lover
Goodbye, my hopeless dream
I’m trying not to think about you
Can’t you just let me be?
So long, my luckless romance
My back is turned on you
I should’ve known you’d bring me heartache
Almost lovers always do

But the thing about music is that it doesn’t have to have words to produce strong emotions. I think the best example I can give is the work of Burial, a English electronic artists that was for years anonymous and produced albums that were highly acclaimed by The Wire and Metacritic, among others. In 2008, Burial finally broke anonymity and announced his real name–William Bevan of South London.

William Bevan and the cover of Untrue, his second studio album

It is hard for me to describe his music. It is listed as dubstep on Wiki, but it is far from the wub wub wub…..bass drop of today’s dubstep, Rather, it is closer to the old 90’s dub step that came out of the 2-step garage music. Burial’s music has very few lyrics and is composed of layers of repeating electronic sound that waxes and wanes during the songs. But something about the music can produce intense emotions that literally make me stop what I am doing, sit down, and listen to the sounds weave in and out of my ears. Emotions such as loneliness, emptiness, regret, anxiousness, and longing for something I cannot name, but at the same time peacefulness, content, and almost joy.

For example, listen to this song…

To me, “Forgive” sounds exactly like walking in a city at 4am. Lights are dim, people walk silently around. I am walking alone: remembering moments good and bad. Loneliness is inevitable but so is this sense of contentedness with life the way it is. I cry, but because of sadness or happiness I am not sure.

How can a song do this to a person? How can a song, just tones layered over each other, produce real, lasting emotions that can reduce a person to tears?


PS. If you liked “Forgive” check out “Ghost Hardware,” also by Burial.


Filed under 2-Step Garage, A Fine Frenzy, Burial