The Artist/Album: Disclosure, Settle (Interscope/Cherrytree)
Our Review: Anyone who experienced the meteoric rise and fall of ‘electronica’ knows we’ve been here before, caught in a catch-22 where the welcome stateside acceptance of dance music happens to also coincide with a healthy dose of testosterone and diminishing returns. Way too much Crystal Method, not enough populist versions of the Prodigy, in other words. Only in this case, we’ve been driven to the brink of absolute boredom by the bang-on beats of EDM, a buzz word sorely lacking the quick-witted samples and red-blooded soul that made the early days of house and techno so damn special.
Guy and Howard Lawrence–the baby-faced brothers behind Disclosure’s flawless debut–know this. That’s why we decided to put them on the cover of our imminent summer issue, a survey of underground electronic music that proves there’s much more to today’s club tracks and loopy living room listens than gimmicky masks, Jell-O-y bass lines and dimwitted drops. In the case of Settle, that amounts to a satisfying and substantial listen that might as well have been ghost-written by the godfathers of London, Chicago, New York and Detroit.
Or as Guy admits in our story, “We are referencing a lot of old stuff in our music, especially the production side of things. It’s almost like ‘this is how house would’ve sounded if they’d had better equipment.'”
Better equipment, and pop instincts some people are simply born with. It’s no small feat that only four of the 14 tracks on here eclipse the five-minute mark, and yet nothing feels like it was edited in a bid for festival spots and the BBC charts Disclosure have dominated since last year’s delirious “Latch” single. If anything, Settle is the seminal 21st century equivalent of electronica benchmarks like Dig Your Own Hole and The Fat of the Land–an album that mark a moment in time by keeping one foot firmly in the long-forgotten past and the other well into an as-yet-unforeseen future.
Available At: iTunes