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Anonymity was part of the initial lure of Burial, a dubstep producer from London. "I love...old jungle and garage tunes, when you didn't know anything about them, and nothing was between you and the tunes," Burial was quoted as saying in a rare interview (The Guardian, October 26, 2007). "I liked the mystery; it was more scary and sexy, the opposite of other music." Anonymity, of course, has long been a quality positively associated with electronic music, going back to early years of Detroit techno, when acts such as Underground Resistance and Drexciya veiled themselves in obscurity, and even farther back to Kraftwerk, who championed the notion, "We are the robots." So it's the back story of Burial (or rather, the lack thereof), in addition to his music, that explains his great appeal to many of those well-versed in the traditions of electronic music.
Burial debuted in March 2005 on the label Hyperdub with the South London Borough EP, which included the tracks "Southern Comfort" and "Broken Home." These two tracks would be among the highlights of the full-length album Burial (2006), whose release was accompanied by a second EP, Distant Lights (2006). Comprised of bleak, evocative dubstep -- one track, "Night Bus," entirely beatless, driven only by sample rainfall and eerie synth melodies -- Burial proved critically acclaimed, most notably being voted Album of the Year by The Wire; it was also voted among the best albums of the year by Mixmag and was reviewed favorably by Pitchfork. Burial's second album, Untrue (2007), was eagerly awaited as a result of all the acclaim; an EP, Ghost Hardware (2007), was released a few months in advance, drumming up further interest. Like its predecessor, Untrue proved critically acclaimed, voted among the best albums of the year by XLR8R, for instance, and reviewed by Pitchfork even more favorably than its predecessor. On the other hand, Untrue, also like its predecessor, proved polarizing, as more than a few -- especially those outside the media -- considered the album to be overhyped.
In February 2008, British newspaper The Independent made a claim that William Bevan, indeed a native of South London, was the individual behind Burial. Bevan later confirmed the report, continued to record under his alias, and issued several collaborative works with the likes of former schoolmate Kieran Hebden (Four Tet), Thom Yorke, Massive Attack, and Jamie Woon. He issued two additional Hyperdub EPs -- Street Halo and Kindred -- in 2011 and 2012. The Japanese version combined the two on one CD.
Burial is the stage name of William Bevan, an electronic recording artist from London. His music contains elements of dubstep, 2-step garage, ambient and house music. His eponymous debut album was released in 2006 to critical acclaim. The Wire magazine named it their album of the year, along with achieving fifth place in the Mixmag 2006 Album of the Year list, and eighteenth in the best of the year list of The Observer Music Monthly supplement. Burial's second album, Untrue, was also released to critical acclaim and was the second-highest rated album of 2007, according to the review-collating website, Metacritic.
Identity and Mercury Prize nomination 
Although both albums have been met with much widespread acclaim, Burial remained anonymous until August 2008, and said in an early interview that "only five people know I make tunes". In February 2008, The Independent reported that Burial was an alumnus of south London's Elliott School named William Bevan (another alumnus, Hot Chip's Joe Goddard, said in 2006 that Bevan was in the year above him). The school's alumni also include Kieran Hebden (a.k.a. Four Tet), with whom Bevan has collaborated.
On 22 July 2008, The Guardian reported that Burial was a nominee for the 2008 Mercury Music Prize. NME reported on 31 July 2008 that Burial was the favourite for the award. After much Mercury Prize-related coverage in tabloid newspapers in the UK, including speculation that Burial was either Richard D. James (Aphex Twin) or Norman Cook, Burial confirmed The Independent's information and posted a picture of himself on his MySpace page on 5 August 2008. A blog entry stated, "I'm a lowkey person and I just want to make some tunes, nothing else", as well as announcing a forthcoming four-track 12″, and thanking his fans for their support up to this point. On 9 September 2008, Elbow won the award in question.
Composition and sound 
Bevan claims to compose nearly all his music in SoundForge, a digital audio editor, and to eschew the use of trackers and sequencers. Journalist Derek Walmsley stated in The Wire:
DJ-Kicks release 
On 21 April 2008, the news about a forthcoming DJ-Kicks release on !K7 Records (!K7CD227 out 23 June 2008 in the UK and 8 July 2008 in the US) appeared on different blogs and fan websites. The CD was not released on those dates, but there was official confirmation of the postponed release in early August 2008 on the DJ-Kicks website. The only statement from Burial regarding the release was on MySpace, stating "fake djkicks tracklist got put up somewhere i got messages from people & producers thinking it was real. if i do djkicks it will be mostly old jungle tunes & new tunes. big up". A new release date was then set for 11 November 2008, later moved to 6 January 2009, and then postponed again until further notice.
On 21 July 2011 Flying Lotus posted a track on Soundcloud which was supposedly intended for Burial's DJ-Kicks mix. In a post on the DJ-Kicks website later the same day a photo was published showing paper record sleeves printed with the Burial logo and it was stated that "the reality of a Burial DJ-Kicks doesn’t seem to be any closer", but still there was hope that "someday there will be something to actually put into one of these empty bags".
Massive Attack collaboration 
On 10 February 2010 Massive Attack's Daddy G said they were planning a remix album with Burial regarding their latest release 'Heligoland' .
On 10 October 2011 Massive Attack announced the release of a 12-inch single in collaboration with Burial with the two tracks 'Four Walls' and 'Paradise Circus'. Massive Attack posted the track 'Four Walls' on their website. The record was limited to 1000 copies that sold out on the first day of pre-sale.
Post-Untrue change of direction 
Burial has spent the years since Untrue releasing increasingly lengthy experimental EPs. This began with Moth / Wolf Cub, a collaboration with Four Tet, and Burial's own track Fostercare and EP Street Halo. He then developed this practice, experimenting with multi-part suites rather than conventional songs on the Massive Attack collaboration Four Walls / Paradise Circus, and subsequent solo EPs Kindred and Truant / Rough Sleeper. Each of these releases has been universally critically acclaimed, with Kindred EP being singled out in particular as a landmark release.