Like Burial, Untrue is a homage to UK garage, or two-step– a short-lived, oft-mourned fusion of breakbeats and house music that peaked in the late 90s before morphing into offshoots dubstep, grime, and bassline house. Thus Burial’s beats swing wildly, as though flitting between two tempos in the space of a single bar; jittery hi-hat patterns flash like knives being sharpened, and tooth-cracking rimshots invariably fall on the third beat, dividing time in odd ways.
Thanks to Burial’s use of vocals, Untrue is overflowing with earworms, its spongy terrain pocked and pitted until the ground threatens to give way with every step. It’s not a pop album, at least not by Top 40 standards, but his voices– male, female, and ambiguous– wriggle deep into the listener’s consciousness. They’re just intelligible enough to stick– I’m pretty sure that the refrain to “Near Dark” runs, “I can see why I love you”– and unintelligible enough to resist dislodging.
Music that makes you cooler than everyone else is usually difficult to listen to. This is music that definitely gives you an edge on the velvet couch lounge without boring you to sleep.
+ Download mp3 Etched Headplate from Untrue.