Rhapsody Radar 2012 #1: Disclosure
Welcome to the 2012 edition of Rhapsody Radar, our annual survey of 25 up-and-coming artists we love, from hip-hop to indie rock, trad country to stoner metal, Latin pop to EDM. Every weekday for the next month or so we'll be unveiling a new name. Enjoy.
A U.K. garage revival has been in the works for a couple years now, as strains of the bubbling, skipping, late-'90s style have wormed their way into a wide swathe of house and dubstep, from Mosca to Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. But no one has encapsulated classic garage's particular fusion of rude club vibes and fizzy R&B more faithfully than Disclosure, a pair of brothers from London who recently released a new EP for the Greco-Roman label after records for Moshi Moshi, and remixes for Jessie Ware and Emeli Sande.
Outfitted with rubbery bass lines, deliriously swung grooves and bright vocal hooks, their music picks up where garage pioneers like MJ Cole left off after 2-step's explosive millennial run, in which the style went from underground to ubiquitous and then practically vanished, all in the space of a few short years. Their fealty to the classic style is even more notable given that Disclosure's Guy and Howard Lawrence were just three and six years old, respectively, when the genre's creative and commercial high points collided with MJ Cole's "Sincere," released in 1998.
That's not to say that Disclosure's music is just a nostalgia trip, though. For one thing, they've got a new decade's technology on their side. Despite their age, they clearly know their way around a studio (or a laptop, in any case), and they've got a way of making even familiar club tropes sound genuinely futuristic. They also clearly know their way around a hook. While it's engineered for the club, Disclosure's music has the tendency to lodge in your brain as tenaciously as any radio hit. With their latest EP, The Face, the brothers graduated from working with samples to real vocalists, and the results suggest that they aren't far away from charting some bona-fide radio hits of their own.