The enigmatic Burial is about to release his second album Untrue on November 5th. Personally, I wasn’t exactly sold on the self-titled debut but it was easy to recognise that it was something different, discombobulated, mesmerising dubstep landscape that sounded like nothing else yet reminded me of dark dystopian nights soundtracked and Future Sound of London ambient albums. He has described the second album as “downcast euphoria, as opposed to just downcast like on the first one.”
His anonymity is his strength. All we know is that is he is from London, is friends with producer Kode 9, does not appear live, makes all his tunes using Soundforge and little else but his deep imagination. He’s an intriguing character especially considering the accolades and fervour he incites that led to The Wire calling his debut album of the year.
So it’s with that proviso that I present to you an album preview mix by Kode 9 which was played on Mary Anne Hobbs show on Wednesday. Hobb’s inane worshipping ramblings are a symptom of something which could befall Burial. Due to his reclusiveness and mysterious producer status, through no fault of his own, his music and his persona run the risk of being labelled as a unquestionable musical genius.
Hobbs is prone to dropping hyperbolic clangers every now and again. Her championing of dubstep and the subsequent release of last year’s Warrior Dubz compilation has positioned her as patron of the genre. So her adulation of Burial’s work manifests itself in the introduction and follow-up comments on the mix. She claims it is “without question, the most wonderful mosiac of sound I’ve heard in my entire life“, “a work of art”, “a transmission from a star in a galaxy far far away” and that “life and sound will never be the same again“.
As a listener, all this does is serve to put the music on a plateau. If you’re not feeling it, there must be something wrong with you, you’re musically challenged. Criticising it means you just don’t get it. Though you can’t fault her love of Burial, I feel like quoting Dans le Sac vs Scroobius Pip to her.
“Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are or were.”
It’s hilarious stuff and you can hear it below. It’s unfortunate that this kind of pantomime surrounds the mix as it sounds intriguing. I implore you to make up your own mind about it. Ignore the hype but do let me know what you think.