Review Summary: Growing up condemns all of us to a grey world... a world where imagination and happiness is no more... a masterpiece to grief the time when joy was everything... a joy now dead...4 AM – I hear someone’s footsteps fading out in the distance under an obstructing layer of hazy streetlight. Nights like these force me to wander. An unknown urge suddenly appears inside of me and I succumb to its powerful drive.
It’s raining. I like when it’s raining. I like the pattern of rain on windows of the bus.
Vehicle increases its pace, but I don’t notice it. Neither the brief scenes that appear outside of the window – urban decay, rotting council estates, used needles in filthy playgrounds, crowds of misguided youth and their shattered dreams. This city has soaked in sorrow; I sense it every time I inhale its stiff air.
Someone passed away yesterday; I don’t know who it was. Someone was born today. Thrown into this world, just to become miserable someday over someone who was never deserving of love and care.
A lot of thoughts come to my mind. Old childhood memories recorded on gritty, crackling videotapes, funeral of some relative whose name I have forgotten, moments when my world felt shattered. It feeds my melancholy when I think about it, overpowers any glimpse of happiness and joy. I never fight back, just let the city consume me.
I sense my bus stop approaching and I get off, to become another ghost story, shadow of a shadow, silent rain on the rooftops.
It’s still raining.... I like when it’s raining.
In our heads, Burial`s Untrue
conjures images, which a lot of artists could not achieve. Behind the synthetic beats and brooding electronics, there are fragments of life. Every high-pitched coo representing an emotional catharsis and sincere longing for something. The fact that most of the sounds/beats have a DIY approach to them, showcases, perhaps not the lack of a proper gear, but the will to add something personal to them - a piece of one’s soul. This self-devotion imparts an added value to the whole project, making it also enjoyable for people with higher requirements towards the core and atmosphere of the music.
Aside from being emotionally challenging (a rare thing to find amongst this type of music), Untrue
also maintains a certain level of musical originality. Most of the beats have an interesting pattern and organic sound to them. The whole percussion is nothing groundbreaking, but at the same time, I haven’t heard an artist who had composed music in the same vein, before Burial`s appearance in music industry. Borrowing elements of early dubstep, 2-step garage, drum 'n' bass, ambient and house music, Burial (aka William Bevan) crafts his haunting masterpiece Untrue
, representing a barren urban landscape, and its inhabitants – People, caught up in the hurry of their lives, with no time to think about themselves, only living to satisfy the machine modern society has become. Untrue
tells a lot, without having to be bulged with lyricism. Bevan clearly enjoys using a lot of manipulated samples with vocal hooks, which aside from the DIY production is exactly what gives Untrue
its human quality. Utilization of crackling and shuffling is also prominent in Untrue
, exemplifying Ghost Hardware
The content of Untrue
can be generally divided in two categories – Ambient and motional (impulsive). Songs like Endorphin
or Dog Shelter
, feature a gritty and sombre ambience, absent of any beats, while Archangel
or Near Dark
, still maintaining the ambience, have a steady beat and distorted heavy baselines to them. Even though a lot of artists nowadays use ambient, motionless tracks as a fillers or pace-breakers, in Untrue
they have an integral role, supplementing and enriching the whole concept and sound.
For those having a hard time grasping Burial`s shadowy presence, I suggest flipping over their perception of music or trying to view it all from a different angle. It might take time to acknowledge Bevan’s work and the sensuality behind every song. Whether enjoying Untrue
or not, one has to agree that it has a lot ingenuity and freshness that many of its peers lack.