Mysterious voice on Burial's <em>Rival Dealer</em> EP identified

Burial sampled an unlikely source.

Burial’s Rival Dealer was one of our favorite records of the year (even though it was released in late 2013), and part of its lasting appeal is the mystery behind the source of its various vocal samples (apart from that Lana Wachowski speech) and their meanings. Part of the mystery has been solved: the spoken word segments seemingly about some sort of interstellar encounter were pulled from an interview with NASA Earth Scientist Melissa Dawson

Yeah I Got tracked down Dawson and asked her about what it’s like to be sampled by Burial (and if she even knew who Burial was previous to the incident). “I’d say, if anything, Burial had a few more listeners that would not normally listen to his music,” she says, “only because my friends wanted to check it out for the first time!”

Watch the original interview below; YouTube commenters have posted timecodes (0:41, 1:29, 2:45, 2:56, 3:21, 5:28, 9:50) for the various bits of audio that Burial sampled. Interestingly, it appears that he created the haunting phrase (and track title) “come down to us” from whole cloth. Burial isn’t the only one looking to sample NASA’s archives, especially after they released high-quality sounds from space.

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