Disclosure: Settle

Posted July 14, 2014 by in Disco



3.5/ 5


Genre: ,
Label: ,
Genre: House, garage house, electronica
Producer: Disclosure
Label: PMR, Island
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 60:37
Release Date: 31 May 2013
Spin This: "F for You," "Latch," "Defeated No More," White Noise"


Hints of progressive house works its way into the throwback escapism of Disclosure. Guests add extra flair to the set


Some riffs and lyrics are extremely repetitive

English duo work up soulful house beats and trippy EDM on debut disc

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

English duo work up soulful house beats and trippy EDM on debut disc

Guy and Howard Lawrence aren’t exactly newborn novices to the EDM movement; they’ve been navigating from one music festival to the next since their Sam Smith-guested “Latch” made landfall in 2012. Attached to Smith’s surging popularity, “Latch” opened up many doors for the English brotherly duo, including the arrival of their debut LP, Settle. That track, a sudden shift of direction from the conventional balladic crooning that bunkers down Smith’s repertoire, finds its home on this disc. As if Smith was intoxicated on the brews of Fine Young Cannibals, “Latch” is a confident lead single for Disclosure and exposes a surprising depth in their decision to avoid the traditional 4/4 time of house to go with the composition’s 6/8 tempo. It’s a risk they take and one that succeed in.

Much of the album walks on the borderlines of the trivial, often repeating the same strategies and formulas like typical electro playlists. Even with the insertion of dreamy trance and dubstep, the beats and loops become a bit repetitive. On the album opener “When a Fire Starts to Burn,” a preachy sample gets out of hand. But there’s the brilliantly scored “F for You,” which features Howard’s lone, dry vocals as the perfect narrator of discontentment in a world of puzzled love: “I’ve been infected with restless whispers and cheats that manifested in words and lies that you speak…because I played the fool for you.” Mary J. Blige guests on the deluxe edition version, providing the track a dose of Chicago house diva. Once the charming chorus rings out and starts circulating endlessly, Disclosure has found their niche. EDM is full of repetitive energy, but the guys bring out some of the genre’s guilty pleasures. Inside “White Noise,” the soulful house grooves are sewn together alongside AlunaGeorge’s icy vocals, as if a Robyn doppelganger had been dropped into a vat of NYC disco ooze. Songs like the Miguel Migs-sounding “Defeated No More” and the intoxicating “January” play like retro Playboy After Dark offerings. And the guest vocals of Sasha Keable (“Voices”) and UK’s newest sensation Jessie Ware (“Confess to Me”) keeps the album on high alert, as the disc hardly slows down with its magic. Sam Smith returns on the Nile Rodgers-featured “Together” on the deluxe edition version. Only on the album’s finale “Help Me Lose My Mind” does Disclosure slow things down, but even that creation of euphoric teases decked with synth swirls, LCD Soundsystem sonics and London Grammar’s AC-ready pipes satisfies the dancey ear.

On “Confess to Me,” Disclosure lets out a cocky response to cynics of their new-age house. “I’ll fulfill your desires for you,” they say. If you excuse the tribal-like repetition of their song’s foundations, you can easily write off their inherent cockiness from ever reaching asinine proportions.  They know what works for them and they are pretty good at it. As dance music continues its ever evolving strategy to maintain its stronghold on mainstream, Disclosure finds a clever way to celebrate some of the glorious elements of disco’s past while exploring the mystical sounds of the future. So what if the high-energy deep house on Settle is too much for radio’s low-grade standards. The movement for sophisticated EDM will make its way into the hearts of those who are weary of the excessive bubblegum electropop. It’s already happening.



About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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