£21.99 – Gatefold LP
As the new album from the Lawrence brothers nears, it’s impossible to imagine a world without Disclosure, so profound and wide-reaching has th£21.99 – Gatefold LP eir influence been on the musical landscape this decade. Their extraordinary debut album ‘Settle’ (2013) consolidated their place at the forefront of a new wave of electronic music. It topped the charts, won numerous accolades and ushered in a new age that opened up dance music for the next generation of young music fans while refreshing and rejuvenating the scene for the rest.
It’s amazing when you think they achieved all this as teenagers, just out of school. With youth – and they’re still only 24 and 21 – comes lashings of enthusiasm and an insatiable desire to push sonic frontiers and develop new ideas with the most exciting new artists without compromising their music by following the by-numbers dance music in the charts. With ‘Caracal’, their second album and the follow-up to ‘Settle’, they assert themselves as platinum-grade songwriters.
A number of exciting collaborator names who appear on ‘Caracal’ have been teased out over recent weeks – Lion Babe, Nao, Kwabs, Gregory Porter and of course Sam Smith this week. Disclosure can now confirm the full details of the albums’ 13 tracks. Huge guests include The Weeknd, Miguel and Lorde alongside some extremely talented newcomers Jordan Rakei and Brendan Reilly. These guest features sit perfectly alongside ‘Jaded’, ‘Echoes’ and ‘Molocules’ which are written and performed by Howard Lawrence himself.
While ‘Settle’ relied more on vocal samples, as well as new artists they broke through, they’ve now got people queuing up to work with them. “We wanted to write songs with loads of singers so there are no instrumentals. We wanted to hone our songwriting skills,” says Howard. “When you get the chance to work with amazing people you want to make the most of them.”
‘Caracal’ is a muscular and nuanced record, with a depth to it that will pin it to the canon of dance music history. It’s crunchy and gets under your skin. A proper album album, you might say. “We feel like a band now, instead of just releasing tracks for the club. We wanted to really step out with a solid body of work and tour for two years. We’re very much an album band,” says Howard.
Disclosure are still doing what they do best – taking house and giving it a massive injection of musicality – but there’s a renewed depth and skill to this latest work. “It’s not just musicality,” they say. “It’s songwriting in its classic form, songs you can play on the piano.” The pace across ‘Caracal’ is generally slowed down, “With dance and electronica, your genre is defined by a BPM. As Disclosure we want to be known sonically, for our sound. We want to go through a variety of speeds and even genres and focus on mix and production,” says Guy.
As the culture in US changes, and moves away from EDM to a welcome Disclosure-fuelled return of the pioneering dance music genres full of character such as garage, house and techno with a modern twist, Guy and Howard will remain at the vanguard.
Oh, and what is a ‘Caracal’ ([kar-uh-kal]?
It’s a rarely-seen desert lynx, they explain. They are nocturnal and hang out in pairs. It’s utterly distinguishable by its beautiful ears, that end in a black, narrowed tuft. Just like this animal, Disclosure are a rare breed, and with that they’re completely unique and utterly independent in what they stand for and bring to the landscape.