The Lawrence brothers’ combo of UK garage, ’90s house and soul vocalists is about to sweep the nation
With admirable confidence, Disclosure recently compared their debut album ‘Settle’ to the work of global superstars Daft Punk. But really, Guy and Howard Lawrence have much more in common with a different dance duo: UK garage veterans Artful Dodger. For starters, the brothers clearly share a love for the sort of funky house and 2-step you’d find on ‘Pure Garage’ compilations alongside AD classics such as ‘Re-Rewind’. Secondly, just like Artful Dodger’s 2000 debut ‘It’s All About The Stragglers’, ‘Settle’ focuses majorly on soul vocalists. With no fewer than eight guest spots, there’s enough crooning R&B here to make Kiss FM jizz itself. Plus, as with Artful Dodger in 2000, ‘Settle’ could be the moment the UK underground gets primed for mass consumption in suburban clubs, the charts and branches of Footlocker. Still unsure? Disclosure have even remixed an Artful Dodger classic, ‘Please Don’t Turn Me On’, and cheekily called it ‘No I Turn You On’.
It’s odd, because Guy and Howard were just kids when Artful Dodger and their contemporaries MJ Cole, DJ Luck and MC Neat were big. Yet ever since the Surrey pair (aged 22 and 19) appeared onstage with labelmate Jessie Ware last summer to perform their remix of her single ‘Running’, they’ve been tasked with the job of resurrecting UK garage. Kinda unfair. Unless you’re the sort of rock purist who’ll seethe at Disclosure’s existence from behind your Boy Kill Boy vinyl, you can appreciate that the emergence of a hyperactive duo capable of overshadowing the chart return of PJ & Duncan or the existence of Rizzle Kicks this summer is a good thing.
Disclosure’s straight-up ’90s house choon-ageddon begins with ‘When A Fire Starts To Burn’, the confident basslines on which feel like a celebration of modern British electronica. Before long you’ll be hoovering the dancefloor to ‘Latch’ – a single so huge it seems unbeatable. Until, of course, ‘White Noise’ renders superlatives redundant. Featuring Aluna Francis of AlunaGeorge, it’s an immaculately constructed pop monument. As for potential forthcoming singles, take your pick from ‘Defeated No More’ (featuring ‘Dancing’ Ed Macfarlane from Friendly Fires), ‘Voices’ (like a metallic Slinky springing into a basement), and ‘Confess To Me’ (hi, Jessie Ware).
Even more watertight than the songcraft is this hour-long bender’s structure. Just as the ante wanes on ‘Second Chance’, ‘Grab Her!’ is a zingy top-up before single ‘You & Me’ has you properly sorting out the sock drawer (official rave terminology). Featuring Eliza Doolittle, it’s testament to how Disclosure get the best out of never-weres (see also: Jamie Woon on ‘January’). Throughout, ‘Settle’ will blind you with so much sheen you’ll want to tile your bathroom in it. Sadly, the London Grammar-featuring ‘Help Me Lose My Mind’ is a bit of an unnecessary cool-down. Not to worry, Disclosuremania is clearly about to sweep the nation.