It's also effectively a tribute to Mark Fisher, who is a recurring presence in the piece.
It's intentional that Burial's real name is never once mentioned in the piece - honoring his original allegiance to rave's radical facelessness and anonymous collectivity.
Below is my favorite out of the post-Untrue Burial output - in some ways the missing chapter from that album.
There were two parallels and precursors for Burial's ghost-of-rave (as ghost-of-socialism) aesthetic that I couldn't get into as it would have been too much of a digression.
The first: Mark Leckey's Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, which I wrote about here.
And the second: "Weak Become Heroes" by The Streets.
What Burial related through samples and moody orchestrations, Mike Skinner conveyed with words, describing the flashback of a former raver abruptly set adrift on blissed memories of love and unity on the dancefloor. “All the commotion becomes floating emotions... They could settle wars with this... Imagine the world's leaders on pills... All of Life's problems I just shake off.” Then he's snapped back to the dreary streets of a hostile and hopeless 21st Century England: “gray concrete and deadbeats... no surprises no treats... My life's been up and down since I walked from that crowd.” “Weak,” in Skinner’s song, means not just personally frail, but politically powerless. The weak became heroes when they became a mass, uniting around the unwritten manifesto in the music: someday there’ll be a better way, but in the meantime let’s shelter for a while in this dreamspace. What the critic Richard Smith (like dear Mark also “late” now – so many ghosts these days) called “the communism of the emotions” triggered by Ecstasy seemed to prefigure a social movement. But the collective energy never got beyond the level of a pre-political potential; the moment dissipated.
In a way, it's a shame Burial stopped doing the interviews - he was almost born to do them, even more than make music! He's better at describing his own music and motives than any of his critics, except Mark Fisher himself. I remember Mark telling me after he'd done the interview that he couldn't believe his own ears - the stuff that Burial was coming out with was so poetic and evocative, too good to be true almost. A dream of an interview. Anwen Crawford told me of a similar experience: as I recall it, it was like she was hypnotized, sent into a trance by his voice over the phone. But at same time he was completely real and genuine - somehow down to earth and an ethereal being floating out there at the same time.
This post is dedicated to Carl Neville.