Disclosure: Caracal

Posted October 20, 2015 by in Electronica



4/ 5


Label: ,
Genre: Electronica, dance, house, garage house, dubstep
Producer: Disclosure
Label: PMR, Island
Format: Digitally download, compact disc
Time: 52:22
Release Date: 25 September 2015
Spin This: "Holding On," "Omen," "Nocturnal, "Hourglass"


Beats are far advanced, experimential on this round, so are the lyrics and compositions. Guest stars add extra layer of definitiveness


Absence of big dance tracks, two spotty tracks makes this adventure shy from being complete

Dynamic EDM duo brings powerful house fusion on sophomore title

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Dynamic EDM duo brings powerful house fusion on sophomore title

There’s no denying the power and force that Disclosure (Howard and Guy Lawrence) has had on the dance music industry. Since breaking out the gate with their chart-topping dance single “Latch” and giving its lead singer Sam Smith his first big break in the States, the path has been evergreen for the English electro-house duo. Every EDM group has since tried to mirror or trace their blueprint of oozy deep house — some more successful than others. Let it be said that Settle, a critical breakthrough also featuring the intoxicating Mary J. Blige-featured “F for You,” was the band’s first LP. Now curious minds are wondering if they will replicate their success on their follow-up, or break the norm by bending towards newer innovations.

The answer lies on Caracal, the band’s highly-anticipated sophomore disc. It opens with the cathartic sounds of The Weeknd on “Nocturnal,” a song highly saturated in his original PBR&B sounds as well as Disclosure’s slick multi-layered productions. It’s a perfect fit for the hip crooner, and opens him to a new universe of music, like “Latch” did for Sam Smith. The aforementioned returns on the next album track “Omen,” a song that borrows heavily from the intoxicating, trippy dubhouse featured on Mary J. Blige’s “Right Now,” another creatin by the Lawrence team (and one of HiFi’s top singles of 2014). If this song launches to the top of the charts, it owes all if its success to Blige’s overlooked piece of art. Those tracks are good, but it’s the clubby throwdown “Holding On” that tugs at the heart the most. From Gregory Porter’s opening lines sounding like a Lion King clarion call to the crafty dub mixing on the attached chorus (“S-shake it”), the song blends gospel and murky house together in what sounds like a hearty return to club grandeur. They replicate that dark, mysterious pulse on “Hourglass,” but plants NYC neo-soul duo Lion Babe on vocal duties. The grunge world surrounding their supple cooing and pop-confetti harmonies proves to be a good combination, expanding the forum for Disclosure’s creativity. They continue that trend on “Willing & Able,” where Kwabes drops his sensuous R&B style atop grooves perfect for a sexy lounge party, and on the Miguel-guided “Good Intentions.” And there’s classic neo-soul drippings invading “Masterpiece,” a song screaming with Ginuwine swagger.

Not every song jumps out with excitement, especially when the album reaches the halfway mark. Guest vocalist Lorde seems lethargic on “Magnets.” It’s not as rhythmically and melodically when compared with its surrounding tracks. “Superego” tries too hard to be so sexually impulsive that some of its lyrics incites a few unfortunate chuckles (“This is bigger than you, it’s bigger than me/You’re stringing it out like a symphony”).

But Disclosure brings more bang to the fireworks on Caracal, expanding their universe with more genre-bending fusion with urban and futuristic soundscapes. You can feel that passion when they break out with “Moving Mountains,” a deluxe edition track. On this offering, Brendan Reilly, a lightweight Justin Timberlake-styled crooner, is surrounded with Disclosure’s trademark echoes. The song is divided into two parts; one being minimalist-driven and Frank Ocean-inspired; the other amped with otherworldly, wurly synths and hip-hop beats. If the future of EDM is left in Disclosure’s hands, things are going to be pretty impressive. Instead of going for cheesy mainstream synthpop, they stand at the cusp of edgy innovation by merging street soul with underground house and edible hooks. They’ve proved that substantially, and we’re just on album number two.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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