Tuesday, November 13, 2007

burial, untrue review

Untrue by Burial is the sound of electricity bouncing around my head on the train journey home; if you told me I'd find a record in the latter half of 2007 which knocked me sideways and staggered me, which I immediately identified with, I'd have given you money it wouldn't be a dark, haunting dubstep record which buzzed with bass and provoked dizzying, nostalgic recollections of a scene – rave – which isn't even in my realm of experience. But yeah, it's marvellous, and utterly in tune with how I feel, which is really odd.

Why, well, because of when and where I listen to it, I think – it's the kind of record that would have sounded utterly out of place in the summer, but the clocks have turned and so far it's inhabited me during the dead hour which is my journey home from work, sat heavy lidded on an impossibly bright train staring hard out of the window at the rapidly darkening sky, which tonight is all black horizon and purple clouds, bisected by a thin stripe of orange-pink.

The record is ghostly and terrific, a familiar palate of sounds spun into a delicious soundscape; snatches of heavily processed soul vocals, synth washes and those delightfully crunchy, other worldly beats, constructed from gunshots and the sounds of empty bullet casings clattering to the floor. On several occasions its hands-in-the-air melodies transport me back to a fictional place in my past, and I remember myself on a dancefloor I've never stepped on. Most of all it just clatters through me and mirrors my mental state, sounding foggy, dreamlike and faintly exhausted at the end of a long day, with all the reverberations of the preceding hours still possessing me, snatching through my consciousness like the sudden, distant vocal samples on the record.

Oh, wow, it's a really tremendous record, and I'm just in love with it.


Vic said...

Ooh, can I have a copy please? I loved the first Burial record.

jonathan said...

Yes, of course - will do you a copy. You'll love it.

Shiffi Le Soy said...

I’ve seen the light now. And it burns like heaven.


Kevin said...

I just stumbled across your blog after doing a Google search ("review burial untrue") for reviews of this strange album I seem to have quite unexpectedly discovered after the album art caught my attention on Pitchfork. The last half hour or so has found me poring over reviews which didnt quite capture how i felt about this music, but then this. You're spot on. The moodiness, the feeling of the changing seasons... "mirrors my mental state, sounding foggy, dreamlike and faintly exhausted at the end of a long day" ... yeah man, I'm right there with you. Thanks for saying it better than I ever could.

- Kevin

Anonymous said...

Not to nitpick, but Pitchfork is painfully slow & unfair when it comes to reviewing (i.e. promoting) European artists. I'm an American, I know several of the writers and interns with Pitchfork, and you can trust me, the editorial practices there are puerile. They were very unfair to the first Burial album, and they slighted my other favorite album of the year (the Situationist masterpiece by The Tough Alliance--A New Chance). It just bothers me that Pitchfork has extended its sway in the UK. Bad writing, childish critique. UK has the better music mag--Wire. On a positive note, it's warming to find other Burial fans out there!

Take care.

Westy said...

I'm a recent convert as well, just picked up the album and listened to it walking home. Listening to this on a good set of headphones seemed to freeze the world around me. People moved at different speeds. great review. cheers ,W