Where would UK dance music be without Burial’s Untrue? The South Londoner’s second album, released ten years ago this month on Hyperdub, has arguably done more than any other record in recent history to shape electronic music, presenting not only novel production techniques but the power of rooting a record in a specific time, mood and place. Through its dank textures and heart-wrenching vocals, Untrue portrays the darker side of London, a rainy metropolis filled with lonely citizens and long-forgotten clubs. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Peeking through the shadows are glimmers of light, hope, even euphoria. To quote the man himself, it’s these flashes that ultimately give Untrue its “buzzin’, glowy, uplifting” edge.
This video essay, the first of its kind on Resident Advisor, tells the story of Untrue, from the software and the samples to its influence on a whole generation of producers.
The mystery surrounding Burial means there’s a lot we’ll probably never know. But then that’s part of what makes Untrue such an iconic piece of work.
Writer: Carlos Hawthorn
Editor: Sophie Misrahi
Graphics: Mike Winkelmann