Tunes 2011 – 2019
Arriving as part of the Hyperdub label’s 15-year celebration this compilation by Burial might at first seem intriguing and/or unnecessary but I for one welcome it.
You see the originally anonymous and still rather elusive electronica artist and producer (unmasked as William Emmanuel Bevan shortly after the impact of his first two albums was being felt) is a game-changer. He is and was, at least reputation and influence-wise, to the dance music and electronica of the 2010s was Aphex Twin was to the 90s and very early 00s.
And this compilation – Tunes 2011 – 2019 – celebrates that very fact.
Sure, there’s nothing particularly rare or must-have here that you can’t get elsewhere, or couldn’t get at the time; seems unlikely his hardcore fans would be interested in this re-gathering. But after being blown away by the one-two of his only original studio albums to date I became a casual fan.
The only Burial release I’ve reviewed was 2013’s Rival Dealer. One of his best EPs, sure. But one of over a dozen EPs or singles.
So there was gold in them thar hills. And now it’s here…
Arranged, basically, in a reverse chronology, Burial walks us back down the hill he built and where he hid so many golden gems. From the spooky footsteps and late-night eerie ambiance of Beachfires through the coded pop-crackle of Young Death and on to Rival Dealer’s epic highlight, Come Down To Us, almost an album in and of itself, this isn’t everything Burial has done, but as a wide-angle snapshot it’s a wise sampler.
From the woozy wonder of Ashtray Wasp’s shuffling snares and post-Underworld faded-glow to the arthouse version of dubstep’s best vestiges that shines, still, on Rough Sleeper and Truant, this 150-minute double disc of jaded, faded jewels is the answer to anyone that was curious and the blanks-filler to anyone (like me) that knew it was mostly all good but just didn’t snap up the many limited releases as they appeared over the last decade.
To me, Burial will forever be the soundtrack to a walk home – from the pub or a visit to a mate’s place, for a late-late stroll with the dog – and from NYC’s ghostly vocals to Hiders’ ethereal-anthem feel there’s a mood for any moment here; valedictorian 80s rehash or moody-as-all-fuck circle-back on trip-hop’s darker moments (Subtemple). I’m happy to have this. To hear this. To live back inside this all once again.
You can support Off The Tracks via PressPatron