Saturday 21 January 2023

Burial - Antidawn

After making such a grand statement about Burial in my Best Of 2022 list ie. that he's undeniably THE musical visionary of the 21st century, I''m starting to interrogate that line of thinking (surely I forgot The Caretaker). It was very easy to just automatically write such an assertion as though it were true and believe that most thinkers about such things around the world would also obviously agree. 

Surely Burial aka William Bevan's feeling the pressure of such thinking. It's probably why he hasn't called a release an album since 2007 despite several so called EPs being LP length. I mean last year he had to add EP at the end of the title for his Antidawn release, which is 5 minutes longer than Sgt Pepper's, so we all didn't call it his 3rd album. Is he too protective of his own critical reputation (like My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields was in the 90s)? Is he scared that calling his album an album will ensure it gets too closely scrutinised?

It's an interesting ploy that I think has perhaps backfired upon him. Now we all just think Burial's work is insignificant because it's just his miniature cast offs not to be taken all that seriously. If Antidawn had indeed been called an album I think it would have garnered a lot more interest and that definitely would have been deserved. It may well have been hailed as his 3rd masterpiece. Even if it was only hailed as that by half of the usual critics it still would have been a better result than the dwindling interest it actually got.

Also is it up to him to call an album an album? We should have all just called it an album because it is an album.

Speaking of critics. Some of the laziest and most absolutely wrong bullshit gets tossed around in the name of critique and analysis of Burial: Ambient, insubstantial, not engaging, formless, not an easy listen etc. ad nauseam for fuck's sake!  

It's not fucking ambient dickheads. None of this sound is to be ignored. It's bloody operatic, too emotional, full of sensations many of which are perhaps too liminal for articulation, feelings are switched on and off sometimes in a furious flurry and Antidawn is fucking anthemic! Anthemic: That sounds anti-ambient to me.

It's not fucking Insubstantial! Just because it doesn't have a riff, a break, a bass drop, a bloody verse/chorus/verse or a song structure that represents a god damn pre-existing genre on autopilot doth not maketh this record insubstantial. Antidawn is so substantial it fucks with me for 44 minutes, toys with my soul for 44 minutes, transfixes me for 44 minutes, loses me in its delectable sound-world for 44 minutes, nothing else matters for that 44 minutes.

It's not fucking formless. In fact it is intricately structured to a fastidious degree to give us a spectrum of dramatic effects. Wild swinging jaw dropping dramatic arcs that have the hairs standing up on the back of your neck... now that doesn't sound particularly formless does it? 

It's not fucking not engaging! Antidawn is so compelling it's like your favourite, best, most watched movie. Every little detail is important, to be savoured and pored over. The entire LP is best heard from go to whoa. It's so striking it has me hanging on every tiny spec of sound and all of the vibes for er... 44 minutes.

It's not fucking not an easy listen! Just pump this sucker up to 11 and bam where did those 44 minutes go? 

No comments:

Post a Comment