In the 10 years since London’s enigmatic Burial released his boundary-breaking sophomore LP Untrue, the face of electronic music has changed dramatically. Not only have new arenas opened up for ambient-leaning producers to bring their experimental soundscapes into the spotlight, but the divisions between such typically at-home forms of listening and more club-oriented sounds have continued to blur. Though his releases seem to come less and less frequently, Burial’s thumbprint still courses through dance music today, whether in his haunting, intimate use of vocal samples, his brisk, tactile beats, or his free wandering into the kind of ethereal abstraction usually reserved for avant-garde composers.
Part of what made Burial’s sound on Untrue so inspiring was his willingness to tackle original rhythms, without regard for what scenes he might be breaching. At turns reminiscent of house, garage, dubstep, and hardcore, Untrue is as bracingly pulsing as it is forlorn and relaxed, capturing the sounds of dance music at their most provocative, enveloping, romantic, and pain-ridden all at once. You can hear his influence in the dark nightclub ruminations of Dean Blunt, the grimy bass sculptures of Andy Stott, the ethereal beatmaking of Jamie xx, and even the minimal rhythms of latter-day Radiohead—all of whom have taken his blueprint for emotional, mysterious dance music and carried it valiantly forward into the future. Burial left an undeniable mark on music with Untrue, and with this playlist, we explore the many ways that his vision lives on today.