Album Review: Disclosure – Settle

Settle is the debut album from English electronic music duo Disclosure, consisting of the Lawrence brothers Guy, 22 and Howard, 19. It follows the huge interest from their EP titled The Face released in June 2012.

When I was 18, I started socialising in pubs and nightclubs in and around Bedford. In particular, Enigma nightclub, which was situated on the Aspects Leisure Park, now home to Fitness First. The music of my era was house and garage, played by DJs Dazz Norman and Dave Bergin. Disclosure have been able to recapture that period in Settle with a mix of UK garage, ’90s house and soul.

Garage music hit the big time almost 15 years ago from the likes of Artful Dodger, MJ Cole, DJ Luck and MC Neat, and the influence is clearly heard throughout, especially on You and Me, which features guest vocals from Eliza Doolittle – a track which has already peaked at number 10 in the UK single charts.

You and Me was the third release from Settle, following the club favourites Latch, peaking at number 11 and White Noise, their most successful release, reaching number 2. White Noise, with humming basslines, swirling synths and heavy beats featuring rising female vocalist Aluna Francis.

The album relies on many collaborations, two of which with British singer-songwriter Brit 2013 Nominee Jessie Ware, on techno electronic track Confess to Me and the drum ‘n’ bass remix of her hit Running. Both use her vocals to full effect.

Many songs depend on continuous repeat of certain words. F For You leads with ‘infected, restless and manifested’ and I dare you to try and keep them out of your head for many hours after your first listen. It’s the same with opening song When a Fire Starts To Burn and Evolution. But although all are repetitive, they don’t make the tracks feel too long.

Boiled, featuring Sinead Harnett, chills the album down. It would feel very welcome on the beach outside the world famous Café Del Mar in Ibiza.

Disclosure, very arrogantly, compared Settle to the work of dance music gods Daft Punk. Although the jury is out on that claim, if they continue on the same lines as this debut album, you wouldn’t rule them out being global superstars in their own right in a few years’ time.

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