Rival Dealer

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Rival Dealer
Rival Dealer Burial.png
EP by Burial
Released 11 December 2013 (2013-12-11)
Length 28:33
Label Hyperdub
Producer Burial
Burial chronology
Truant / Rough Sleeper
Rival Dealer
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 83/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]
Consequence of Sound 4/5 stars[3]
Cuepoint A[4]
NME 9/10[5]
Pitchfork 9/10[6]
Resident Advisor 4/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[8]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars [9]
Sputnikmusic 4.3/5[10]
XLR8R 9/10[11]

Rival Dealer is the seventh extended play by British electronic music artist Burial. It was issued by record label Hyperdub and released digitally on 11 December 2013, with a physical release following five days later.


On 2 December 2013, a Cargo Records distribution email revealed that record label Hyperdub would release a three-track EP of Burial material on 16 December in vinyl and CD formats, designated with the catalogue number HDB080.[12][13] His first release since Truant / Rough Sleeper the year prior, it was also revealed to have a 28-minute running time.[12] On 11 December, Hyperdub made the EP available to purchase digitally through their website and uploaded its three tracks – "Rival Dealer", "Hiders" and "Come Down to Us" – to YouTube.[14][15]


Unlike previous Burial releases, "Rival Dealer" maintains a significant theme throughout its 3 tracks. In a rare public message to BBC Radio 6 Music, Burial himself clarified that he wanted the songs to be "anti-bullying tunes that could maybe help someone to believe in themselves, to not be afraid, and to not give up, and to know that someone out there cares and is looking out for them." [16]

FACT magazine reviewer Tom Lea called the EP a story about love, confusion and relationships, citing the track "Come Down To Us" as a primary example. The track uses a sample from a speech by filmmaker Lana Wachowski at the 2012 Human Rights Campaign gala.[17]

All three tracks contain samples from an interview with NASA scientist Melissa Dawson Higgins.[18][19]

Critical reception[edit]

Upon its release, Rival Dealer received critical acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album holds an average score of 83, indicating "universal acclaim".[1] Pitchfork rated the album 9.0/10.0, awarded it their "best new music" accolade and noted a change in Burial's sound.[6] FACT magazine also noted the change in direction, and whilst giving the EP a very positive review, also acknowledged that it was the most divisive release by Burial so far.[17] Consequence of Sound rated the EP 4/5, singling out Hiders as being the most upbeat track ever released by Burial.[3] Resident Advisor rated the release 4/5, noting that the album, despite being a diverse moment in Burial's career, puts him in a new creative sweet spot.[20] NME also praised the EP highly in their review giving it 9/10.[21] Writing for Cuepoint, Robert Christgau said the EP offers him the same satisfaction as Youssou N'Dour's 2007 album Rokku Mi Rokka and Into the Music (1979) by Van Morrison, and wrote in summation:

In a year-end list for The Barnes & Noble Review, Christgau named Rival Dealer the ninth best album of 2014.[22]

In popular culture[edit]

The track "Come Down to Us" was used in the Adam Curtis film "Bitter Lake", released direct to BBC iPlayer on 25 January 2015.[23]

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Burial.

No. Title Length
1. "Rival Dealer" 10:45
2. "Hiders" 4:42
3. "Come Down to Us" 13:06
Total length: 28:33


  1. ^ a b "Rival Dealer [EP] Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Allmusic Review review". 
  3. ^ a b "CoS review". 
  4. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (January 30, 2015). "Expert Witness". Cuepoint. Retrieved January 30, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Reviews: Burial – 'Rival Dealer' EP". NME. London. 19 December 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Reviews: Burial - Rival Dealer EP". Pitchfork. 13 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "RA review". 
  8. ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/rival-dealer-20131216
  9. ^ "Slant review". 
  10. ^ "Sputnikmusic review". 
  11. ^ "XLR8R review". 
  12. ^ a b Ryce, Andrew (2 December 2013). "New Burial EP set for December". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "New Burial EP set for December release". NME. London. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Burial releases new EP Rival Dealer: buy it and stream audio now". Fact. London. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Stream Burial Rival Dealer EP in full". Fact. London. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  16. ^ http://pitchfork.com/news/53347-burial-shares-message-about-rival-dealer-ep/
  17. ^ a b http://www.factmag.com/2013/12/11/burials-rival-dealer-is-a-christmas-story-about-love-confusion-and-sexuality-and-is-the-best-thing-hes-made-since-untrue/
  18. ^ Fact Magazine (2 January 2015). "Mysterious voice in Burial's Rival Dealer EP identified". Fact Magazine. Retrieved 12 August 2016. 
  19. ^ Graham, Andrew (4 December 2014). "Revealed: That voice in Burial's Rival Dealer EP". Yeah I Got. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  20. ^ http://www.residentadvisor.net/review-view.aspx?id=14160
  21. ^ http://www.nme.com/reviews/burial/15007
  22. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 10, 2015). "Excuses, Excuses: The 2014 Dean's List". The Barnes & Noble Review. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  23. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p02gyz6b/adam-curtis-bitter-lake/

External links[edit]