Truant heart

Following on from today’s earlier quick post, another quick post, about magnificent Dubstep artist Burial – the anonymous Fisher King of modern bass culture, bleeding out nostalgic futures from the South London suburb of Croydon.

I’ve been grooving to his wonderfully haunted album ‘Untrue’ since just before Christmas, but have reached a new level of admiration for him on reading a fascinating interview with him in Wire. Here it is in full.

What’s so interesting about it? First of all, there’s his mythologising of rave. I grew up while all that was going on, and went to some of the events that Burial dreams about having visited. My nostalgia is grounded in direct experience, and I’ve done very little with it; his is rooted in a dream of what could have been, and he’s used it to make magnificent music.

Secondly, there’s  his very engaged sense of craft, his absolute precision of creative ambition, and his inventiveness in using the tools to hand to create. Burial is very direct about the limitations he works under; that he transcends them so effectively is a very strong reminder that it’s not the tools you have to hand, but rather the inventiveness with which you use them, that really counts.

And finally, there’s his deep respect for M. R. James, rooted in an appreciation of his obsessiveness (‘The techniques hit you between the eyes because they are so fucking focused, obsessed by the same devices’) and in his achievement (at his best, James can ‘burn a memory into you that isn’t yours’).

So – Burial – what’s not to like? Well, not very much… So go! Check him out! I suspect you’ll be blown away…

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