It’s been a few years since the reclusive Burial altered the course of dubstep with his ambient, sinister tunes. While many producers cite Burial among their influences, Untold just may be the one that carries the torch.
Untold is Jack Dunning, yet another Londoner experimenting at the outer edges of dubstep, garage, and house music. He has released music on venerable electronic labels Hessle Audio, R&S, and Soul Jazz, along with his own label, Hemlock. 2008’s Kingdom EP set the marker for his sound, with gurgling bass, off-kilter rhythms and tones that suggest mystery and an enticing uneasiness.
The title of his follow-up to Kingdom, Gonna Work Out Fine, doesn’t lie. Building on his dubstep bona fides, Untold introduced elements from UK funky and Chicago house, crafting songs for the dancefloor (as long as that dancefloor was in some dark, secluded warehouse). “No One Likes a Smart-Arse” and “Don’t Know. Don’t Care” have the synth stabs and crystal-clear piano melodies of a 90s rave, but the unforgiving bass of the aughts.
Untold’s sound is a constant work in progress, and he’s unafraid to stray from the dubstep orthodoxies of his early work. He released the exotic “Myth” with funky-king Roska, and he even ventured into tribal guarachero with last year’s “Anaconda.” And in a surprising turn, he remixed Ke$ha’s unavoidable hit “Tik Tok” into something surging and dark.
While Girl Unit’s “Wut” may be the biggest tune of 2010, Untold’s “Stereo Freeze” is a strong runner-up. The colliding bits of juke, club and dubstep are an unrelenting, otherworldly experience – exactly what we can expect from Untold now and in the future.