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Burial's Untrue is a Moody Masterpiece

About three weeks ago when I was in New York, Tal Rosenberg pretty much gushed non-stop about the Burial record's brilliance. At the time, I didn't even know that the London-based Dub Step producer had a new album coming out, which isn't much of a surprise considering fewer than ten people know his actual identity, he doesn't do shows and he's not exactly known as being PR friendly. Apparently, his eponymous first record was named last year's Album of the Year by The Wire, but since I have a hard-time justifying spending ten bucks on an issue of a music magazine, I don't read The Wire.

In fact, other than a spectacular track called "Unite" on a Dubstep primer I own, it's safe to say that all I knew about Burial three weeks prior was that "Ceremonial burial" was a crucial and awesome civilization advance in the greatest computer game ever made.

Since then, its been hard not to read about Burial, with every music magazine from London to Brooklyn to E. Brooklyn, rushing to heap it with praise. So I'm a little hesitant to even bother wasting any more words on an album that basically everyone knows is great and at this point, it feels almost bandwagonesque to even chime in, but fuck it.

The thing is, I was pretty underwhelmed by Untrue on the first few listens. It's not the sort of record that makes much sense in supine, sun-stunned Los Angeles. It's a bleak record, ideal for wintertime New York or London, a druggy drunken stagger through black drizzle and an incinerating 5:00 a.m freeze. It's as asphyxiating and claustrophobic as it is austere and beautiful, a mess of of gurgling vaporous soul samples and popping, crackling, two-step drums. Tal called it the sound of the world eating you alive and that's as accurate a description as I've read. You can go to his Myspace and stream some songs right now, but you're better off buying the record and waiting for the right time to let Burial's melancholy, menacing mood music warp its way through the contours of your mind.

See also Todd Burns' review in the print edition of The LA Weekly


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