Disclosure - The Face [EP]
Hype can be a cruel mistress. The inaugural beats of a lone demo can be enough to incite a plethora of bloggers to wax ecstatic about a new producer and yet by the unveiling of a proper release they're already seemingly out-dated – lost in the cogs of a rather fickle machine. Like so many, South London siblings Disclosure arrive aloft on a wave of industry elation – after an outstanding succession of singles, including the brooding Burial-ish introductory offering 'Offline Dexterity'. They have also remixed some massive up and coming talent, reading like a who's who of 2012's breakthrough acts (Emeli Sandé, Jessie Ware), and recently reached the whopping milestone of 1 million SoundCloud plays – but how do they fare on their first extended play? Well, fortunately, The Face is the sound of Guy and Howard Lawrence nailing the pre- album hurdle, with a collection of songs that cement their place alongside Jamie XX, Bobby Tank and SBTRKT as the country's most exciting new producers.
For starters, opener 'Boiling' boasts the sort of deep house bass that'll have limbs flailing, but it's juxtaposed perfectly with the sultry delivery of Wiley- touted soul songstress Sinead Harnett. Pilfering the shuffling hi-hats that underlined the more credible end of the UK Garage spectrum in the early 90s - it rumbles and rouses in equal measure, despite being somewhat ambiguous as to whether it's music for the club or music for the comedown. That said it's difficult to care with music this sonically rich and eclectic – ultimately fitting both contrasting scenarios aptly. Wobbling to a close, the icebreaker gives way to the more familiar dancefloor unifying 'What's In Your Head'. A festival tent-ready call to arms of spliced vocals and sun-bleached synthery, this five or so minutes brags a more pop-tinged approach – the sort that was excellently exploited by the 2 Bears on the healthier moments of debut LP Be Strong'.
Despite this, it's 'Lividup' with its blissed-out Balearic bounce that really steals the show. Coming across like a beach house bond between Artful Dodger and Ibiza-infused dance act Delorean – it demonstrates a more playful side to The Face, a dizzy sand-encrusted side where this kind of upbeat euphoria is pasted over a backdrop of endless sunsets and bleary winkless nights. However, 'Control' hauls listeners back down to earth, or inner-city London to be precise, with it's intense MJ Cole-esque bass drops and squelchy synths. "Keeping close to you/Until the night is through," purrs singer- songwriter Ria Ritchie over an ethereal soundscape and fidgety rhythms. It should sound out of place in amongst the summer sheen, but despite conflicting reference points it still manages to cohesively correspond with its predecessors.
With one last fizzle The Face vanishes, but despite its maker's melting pot of influences it's one of those rare breeds that all somehow cleverly ties together. Melding elements of Balearic House, UKG and James Blake-ish dubstep into an interrelated release, Disclosure's debut EP is a superbly executed instalment on a notable step towards a bright and revered future. A true eye-opener indeed.
Purchase and listen
Label: Moshi Moshi (Singles) Release date: 06/09/10 Link: Myspace Buy/Stream: Amazon/Spotify âOffline Dexterityâ is about the finest case study you could find in music on how to make one simple idea go the, maybe, certainly as far as this review is concerned anyway. The song revolves around two main recurring elements: a buzzing electronic noise like a telephone or a modem dialing out endlessly and a human voice sample modulated beyond all worldly recognition into some alien howli... [read more]