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23. Burial & Four Tet – Moth

01/12/2009

23

A dimly-lit suburban road. Indentikit post-war semis bathed in sodium yellow. The outskirts of a city. Lace curtains in front of flickering television sets. A Saturday night. Bright strip-lighting from a family-run corner shop pouring onto the pavement. Teenagers waiting for an irregular bus, trying to get one up on each other while none of them, bar one, inhale their cigarettes. A small park, with a vandalised swing. And a cheap but custom-modified car, with an unnecessarily big soundsystem, parked with its front passenger door open, broadcasting Moth, by Burial & Four Tet, to the otherwise dormant neighbourhood. It feels as if this is how Moth is best encountered: an environment pock-marked by slight undernourishment, where functionality and simple operation will do just fine. Moth is not a glamorous record, despite its pairing of two of the finest producers of the decade. Nor is it an epic, despite its length. It’s a workhorse though, doing its job of gyrating and eddying around two-step beats to create a soundworld that’s deeply evocative and queasily intimate. The clicks and woozy swells are purposeful and unshowy, the relentless motif creates a sense of urban claustrophobia, and the overall result is one of the most expressive pieces of electronic music in recent memory.

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