Everyone has that album that sums up a time, a period, a moment when everything was just right. With my discovery of Untrue, I wouldn't describe everything as perfect, or that the I was happy, but that I just felt at ease. A passive embrace of a stray moment, Untrue captivated my senses.
With late-night landscapes casting shadows on the inanimate beyond my windows, my sensations worked in tandem to take me to an unusual residence. I may not have been in dark, murky, midnight London where this album was birthed, but the feeling it gave me of sparsity and internal peace, of a kind of existentialism outside of the norm of youth, created my own interpretation of this foreign state.
For much of modern music past this millenium, muisc formulation has been dictated by an incredible amount of complex factors, and the way our consumption has changed so rapidly also influences how we discover music. Without the reach of the internet, I doubt I ever would have discovered Burial. But would I have wanted to otherwise?
Burial's music came at the apex of the digital world and music's intersection into madness. A lowkey Indie release on Legendary electronic artist Kode9's Hyperdub records, It wasn't until 2011, 4 years after it's initial release, that I found Untrue by pure chance on a random online music search. Having recently found an affinity to downtempo dance, Burial's music fed my need with a wealth of releases to catch up on. Though my listening to Burial has become an annual vinyl affair, like a moody advent calendar, the enjoyment of digital format over a random vinyl discovery during my first foray into a back catalogue has left me with an enhanced nostalgia. The ability to toil away in my room rather than the shared experience of a record player in a welcoming space infinitely changed my perception of this record.
As an electronic record, Untrue is like no other. It's off-kilter and galloping drums, it's use of tasteful dubstep sub-bass and it's unconventional sampling methods, this record set a standard amongst its peers that stay retains to this day. Listen to anything by XXYYXX, Flying Lotus, James Blake, Thom Yorke's solo work and his later day work in Radiohead, even friend and collaborator Four Tet. All have allowed themselves to be influenced by the unique makeup of Burial's music.
From samples of the existentialists game of choice, Metal Gear Solid, to Rnb Icons of the mind noughties like Ray J, Ashanti, Beyonce and Usher (amongst much more) and even random Youtube clips in a variety of different sound qualities, Burial uses these unlikely sources to channel his Garage influences as pitched vocals and rhythmic samples. His utilisation of Youtube as a sample source predates many of his peers, with his penchant for the weird and wonderful locating themselves all across his records.
If you've never experienced Burial, I implore you to take some time alone to experience this record. Allow yourself to escape for an hour uninterrupted. Just let your mind be a blank canvas and celebrate this masterpiece's 10 years in existence.