As modern popular music genres continue to shift and change like the plates of the planet, there seems to be a current call for big beats and electronic drops. Welcome to the stage, the Lawrence brothers, formally known as Disclosure. Their debut album comes at a time where music that was seemingly intended for underground city clubs filled with people excited to show off their knowledge of niche artists has become something of a mainstream, topping the UK album charts and appealing to both those familiar and new to the scene (although many arguments can be raised as to how to define this album in terms of genre).
The record starts with the track ‘When A Fire Starts To Burn’, with heavily sampled speech driving into big backbeats and smooth melodies. The album progresses with a refreshing new spin on each track, incorporating interesting melodies with smooth and reinforced rhythm, whilst still flowing smoothly from beginning to end. To leave the whole piece of work playing whilst considering how to word this review was somewhat of a joy, with each new track proving a pleasant surprise, escalating to a feeling of hunger for more by the time this eighteen track behemoth ended with ‘Running’. Two of the key tracks for myself were ‘White Noise’ and ‘Latch’, pieces that may be already familiar with those of you that have frequented a house club establishment in recent months. Proving favourites amongst crowds that I myself have participated in, it only leads to the belief that this album will continue providing anthems in the course of its life.
As mentioned, one of the peculiar aspects to this album is what genre it should be labeled as. Although there are some who would argue that genre classification is irrelevant in modern day, Settle doesn’t quite seem to ‘settle’ into any group comfortably. It can be considered house, deep house, funk and to an extent some form of D’n’B (with Wikipedia classifying the duo as a ‘British electronic band’), but many an internet forum has seen some form of intense debate over who has the right opinion on this matter. If there are any other gripes to be had at this, it would possibly be the inaccessibility to people new to the sound. If you’re not into the already released singles, then this album probably won’t swing it for you. Some of the tracks can err on the side of repetitive, and if you’re not careful then you may not even realise when certain tracks change into new ones. If, however, you are already a fan but wanted more than the songs from those raving nights, then this is simply put a must buy.
‘Settle’ is out now, and can currently be streamed exclusively on The Guardian‘s website.