Monday, 11 December 2017

Song Of The Year 2017: 9. George FitzGerald - Burns



I started working at Domino Records sister company Double Six Rights this year. If you didn't know that, you know now. The Double Six roster is expansive, but the in-house Domino roster is pretty eclectic too. I'd say I've probably been fairly dismissive of Domino releases this year but I've started making more of an effort to listen to everything we put out. It's actually probably this song, that I have round the office been referring to as "the greatest song of all time", that spurred that.

I'll tell you exactly why I fell in love with 'Burns' so quickly. It's simple. It's that sample. Chopped and sampled vocals are by far my favourite thing in electronic music and to pull it off in such a clean manner is something I really admire. The vocal sample here is taken from a track by label mates Little Cub. Ten years or so ago I first heard Burial's 'Archangel'; I'd never heard (or realised I'd heard) sampling like it before and it genuinely changed my life. My outlook on music as a whole was completely flipped on its head and anything that calls back to that moment gets a yes from me.

What really sets 'Burns' apart, though, is FitzGerald's ability to build such an intense atmosphere in the space of four minutes starting out with a really short and basic sample. The escalation is so gradual and effortless that it's easy to not even notice the other elements bubbling under the surface until you're completely encapsulated in the midst of it all as the percussion kick in. I'm not one for sentimentality or sitting in dark rooms with nothing but my thoughts, but if I was, I'd be using 'Burns' to soundtrack just that. This is a masterpiece and a masterclass in how to do electronic music right.

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