Tuesday, February 5, 2008
lets talk 2007 albums: burial - 'untrue'
(1st in a series, hoping we could all contribute an album or more. sort of like our own "best of 2007" but without ranks or letter grades...just long thoughts on the best music of last year.)
we have this fantastic stereo at cuizine: giant PA speakers, an amp that weighs a fucking ton, and an patch cable for my ipod/laptop. thanks to the indifference of my coworkers/bosses, i pretty much run the music when i work, and i've taken the opportunity to try to introduce new music not just to others but myself.
the bar is usually dark, and for most of week, devoid of customers. it's a perfect enviroment for rich, unhurried music that endears itself with time rather than the wow factor of that summer single we always seem to discover in march. it's in this way i've come to know and love burial's "untrue."
i'd read here and there about 'dubstep;' an underground english dance craze that was being sold as the spirtual successor to trip-hop. given my well known fasciantion with portishead, massive attack, hooverphonic, tricky and the like, i felt that this might be something i liked, so i tried various productions "the world is gone" and was mightily dissapointed. 'dubstep' is a throughly honest name- everything in the genre (at least 90% anyway) is in two-step. bump, clink, bump, duh-duh-duh. whole albums. bump clink bump duh duh duh. what the fuck. sure trip-hop was often rhymically simple, but i found this patenedly ridiculous.
"ghost hardware" by burial. just listen...the video is fan made
fortunately my boredom (and the try it see if you like it nature of the internet + ipod) eventually led me to 'untrue.' i had come off listening to the field's "from here we go to sublime" (maybe my next entry for LT2007) for the better part of the summer and was now convinced that it was possible to wring maximum joy and intensity from very simple, repetitive , unconvential music. untrue unfolded in front of me the way the best albums do...slowly, over the course of weeks, until all i could think about was this color, shade, emotion, tempature and other kinestic madness, laid like countryside, cityscape, wasteland around the steady train track of insidous two-step precussion, scratchy and distant like old vinyl.
so the album goes bump clink bump duh duh duh. it's fucking great... little vocal fragments, sped up, slowed down, just the best parts. simple, erie melodies...like ambeint works 2 with a backbone. my highlights- archangel, near dark, ghost hardware, etched headplate, raver....but really they are all just one song. like with 'from here we go to sublime' very little changes in the course of the song, in terms of melody or tempo or anything, and yet somehow there is motion and life.
'archangel' - rickles disclaimer- this does in no way rock.
with 'unture' burial has produced a dubstep album that doesn't suck, and is, in fact, infinitely relistenable and enjoyable- something severly lacking in the genre, and even in burial's self-titled first album. get this shit, listen to it on repeat, and try to get it out of your head.
p.s. the louder your stereo the better. massive low end is essential.