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Burial - UNTRUE [Jun. 23rd, 2008|03:43 pm]
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!
I have had Burial's track "Archangel" floating through my head for the last week, maybe because it's beauty comes to some extent from it's sad, ruined feeling, and I've seen too many sad, ruined things in the past week...

But I was checking the album on Amazon.com to get a track listing -- and the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" list was pretty interesting -- Of Montreal, Beach House, Black Keys, Sigur Ros, Liars, Death Cab For Cutie, Radiohead, Beirut, Cat Power, Nick Cave, the Magnetic Fields ...

Now I don't want to be bagging on any of their artists -- all the albums in the list I've either heard and liked, or heard good things about. But it's also a curious list for things like Santogold and Moby -- the former I've not heard, and the latter I can do without. And fucking Justice? Kill me now!

Basically it's a list of decent to great artists who still have some street cred, but who have gained enough prominence and music sales to afford a good publicist. Basically it's the list a Martian would put together from reading Pitchfork.

The fact that Burial is on that list makes me think a lot of people bought it because they read about how awesome it was on Pitchfork or in Spin. Burial is the odd man out in that list -- his stuff is too vague, floaty, and dancey to appeal to, say, the average Bon Iver fan. I wonder how many people bought "Untrue" and listened to it once, and said "what the fuck?" How many people put it on and nod their head -- off beat -- to prove their 20-something coolth?

It's silly to make fun of people who like Burial who didn't come at it from Dubstep or having their finger on the pulse of London dance music trends, and yet make fun I have. Hell my kids like a lot of those "Also Bought" artists. The only real point to be made is that Burial's success in the US is a complete fluke, based on the promotion by a few prominent tastemakers on the Internet...

[User Picture]From: clobby
2008-06-23 09:35 pm (UTC)
spot-on about the popularity of burial in the states. i am pretty hip to music and like burial myself, but pitchfork is definitely an internet tastemaker that drives the sales of many an undeserving artist.

i wholeheartedly support your justice hate as well. if only more people felt that way.
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From: elkay
2008-06-23 09:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah. But a lot of people really do seem to like him, even people who have surprising taste otherwise. While many of those people may not be listening to him with very electronic/dance-experienced ears, he's at least accesible to them, maybe in the way that trip hop was in the early 90s for a lot of rock/indie/mainstream kids.

I find Burial to be really, really place-specific for me. He's referencing so much about how London sounds and feels (I once had a synaesthesia moment with Burial where it sounded like how rain on brick smells), in neighborhoods where dance music and breakbeats are not really all that underground or obscure but something they play everywhere. His ambient sound definitely owes at least as much to Ambient and to musique concrete as it does to garage. I wonder sometimes if I would have liked Burial if I didn't live here, or if I would have seen him as gimmicky (I did largely find the first album to be quite gimmicky, however I am in deep luv with _Untrue_).
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[User Picture]From: dica
2008-06-24 12:24 am (UTC)
I hate Pitchfork with a passion. HATE. It is written in a snotty and condescending manner, and has destroyed the taste of many who listened with an open mind prior, who now must blindly follow the shepherd and arbitrator of all that is hip and holy.
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[User Picture]From: kdiddy
2008-06-24 01:07 am (UTC)
tom and I made a friend of mine, who is a total pitchfork devotee but managed to miss the burial hype, listen to untrue and he like psychotically loved it. I think it definitely stands on its own outside of all of that kind of hype. it's just gorgeous.
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