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Essential Albums

  • Untrue
  • Burial


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About Burial

Most dance music, even the bittersweet stuff, is predicated upon good times in good company. Burial, on the other hand, has flipped the iconography of the form—rolling breakbeats, ethereal synths, and the constant crackle of worn vinyl—into an extended meditation on loneliness and loss. Born William Bevan in South London in 1979, Burial grew up fascinated by tales of the first-generation rave culture he was too young to witness, and his earliest work—like 2005’s South London Boroughs EP, or his self-titled 2006 debut LP—channeled secondhand memories of renegade parties and pirate radio into forlorn tracks pairing cut-up R&B vocals with scratchy garage rhythms and ghostly echoes. Burial’s first releases were cloaked in mystery, and though his identity was eventually revealed, his music still harbors a secretive air, leaving indecipherable samples swirling in the murk. Following his landmark second album, 2007’s Untrue, Burial turned his attention to singles and EPs, expanding his vision to include trance (“Space Cadet”), synth-pop (“Nightmarket”), and even sprawling dark ambient (2022’s Antidawn). What holds all his work together—including numerous collaborations with Four Tet and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke—is the sense that it is a transmission from a self-contained universe far, far away, where a mournful heart telegraphs faint messages seeking solace.

London, England
August 1979

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