Burial: Tunes 2011–2019 review - Mindblowing compilation by the producer of the century
Simon Reynolds called Burial’s 2007 masterpiece Untrue the most important electronic album of the century so far. In Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures, the deceased cultural theorist Mark Fisher claimed we are haunted by the ghosts of futures that have failed to happen. Fisher traces his theory in the work of David Peace, John le Carré, Christopher Nolan, Joy Division, and Burial.
Like a shadowy dubstep version of Banksy, Burial, aka Will Bevan, used to be anonymous, but felt forced to blow his cover in 2008 to dispel rumours that the Mercury-Music-Prize-nominated Untrue had been authored by Norman Cook or Richard D James. Since then, Bevan hasn’t released another full-length album, but he’s become an extremely prolific exponent of long-form EPs, releasing a slew of jaw-dropping music in a format that perfectly suits his sprawling and spellbinding compositions.
Tunes 2011-2019 compiles 17 of his tracks from the last eight years as part of the Hyperdub label’s 15th birthday celebrations. Listened to as a whole, this collection constitutes arguably the finest compilation of the last 10 years.
If Will Bevan continues to release music of this incomparable calibre, it really doesn’t matter if he never releases another conventional album ever again. His erstwhile Hyperdub label-mate Zomby sums it up best: “No one sounds like Aphex Twin and no one sounds like Burial. And that, my friends, is the gospel.”