It has been said that Burko is on a “meteoric rise” to superstardom as he captivates listeners with his unique “Medieval House” style. After releasing loads of singles over the course of 2020 and 2021, we are fully invested in watching this come true. The San Diego-based producer dropped his debut EP, Infrared, at the beginning of the year, which received critical acclaim from tastemakers like Your EDM and Run The Trap and found support on Spotify’s Friday Cratediggers and Operator playlists. He quickly followed up Infrared with the Can’t Stay Here EP in April, which contained the moody title track and the equally portentous “Reflection.” While the summer is usually a time to release breezy and upbeat tracks to complement the warmer weather, Burko decided to drop the edgy and cryptic “Dark Matter,” which spoke to the forces of existence. We caught up with Burko shortly after this release, learning more about the single, his signature “Medieval House” sound, and upcoming collaborations.
Hi Burko! Congratulations on the release of your new single “Dark Matter.” It’s a little cryptic and mysterious, but that is what makes it so captivating. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind it?
Thanks so much! I wanted the track to play with the relationship between silence and heavy synths, which mostly shows up in the second verse, and I think the theme of ‘Dark Matter,’ which is innately mysterious and unknown, invites the idea of having cryptic lyrics.
The lyrics are very intriguing and give the track a sci-fi vibe – did you write them yourself?
I actually wrote these lyrics with my ex-girlfriend (who is also the one speaking the vocals in the track).
Is there a lyric or line on there that stands out to you the most?
I think the lyric, “And then we are reminded that nothing is forever, nothing is for real,” speaks to the impermanence of life and how the problems people may have in their lives are so relative to just their own life and are often not as big of a deal as people make them out to be.
I read that this was your first time using analog gear on your tracks – was it a weird transition? Will you go with analog more in the future?
I don’t think it was a weird transition once I figured out how to properly route it to Ableton to get the Prophet to do what I wanted it to do. I definitely will be using more analog gear in the future!
Your music has been described as “Medieval House” for a while now – when did this term first get thrown around?
I came up with the term when I made my first track, “Take Me There,” and just ran with it. I wish I could remember what inspired that word.
Your Infrared EP was your first release for 2022, and it has been getting great support. How does it feel to see others connecting with your music so well?
It’s amazing to see so many people connecting with my music and integrating it into their own lives. I’ll never get over the ironic feeling of seeing a song I made in my bedroom being played on a massive stage.
Shortly after you released the Infrared EP, you dropped the Can’t Stay Here EP – was there a point when you could have seen yourself combining the songs for both projects on one release?
That’s a great question. I never saw them overlapping because I had finished the Infrared EP and decided what tracks to put on it prior to starting the production of the Can’t Stay Here EP. Although at first, I very much intended for “Revelation” (the fourth track on the Infrared EP) to come out as the B-side on an EP with my track “Angelic,” which ended up coming out on Box Of Cats before the Infrared EP.
I have noticed that house and dance music are starting to occur more in releases from artists who aren’t from those genres – where do you think this newfound interest is coming from?
I think house is becoming pretty mainstream at this point, so it makes sense to me that producers are shifting over to making music that is popular to the masses. In my hometown of San Diego, I hear house music everywhere I go, both as restaurant background music and the lineups that are being programmed at local venues.
What more can we expect from you this year?
These next few months are shaping out to have some big releases scheduled. August 12, I have a collab with SNBRN coming out on Ultra. In November, I have a collab with Autograf coming out on Armada, and in between are a couple releases on Insomniac’s IN / ROTATION label.
Thank you again for your time. Is there anything else you wish to add?
Thanks for your time as well! I’m playing a show in Chicago at Le Nocturne September 23, so if you’re in the area, come through!
Tickets for Burko’s show at Chicago’s Le Nocturne can be found here.