Music fans today are hungry, and not just belly grumble hungry. They’re twitching and scratching, clawing at their own flesh until they break the skin, like possessed cannibal zombies determined to feast, hungry. We’re starving, but won’t devour just anything. We’re spoiled zombies. Spoiled zombies wading through the internet’s endless sea of bedroom producer wasteland, in search of something we can really sink our teeth into. We can afford to cherry pick our next electronic act-to-watch meal without ever having to ravage a less desirable make up of body matter. As zombie music fans, we only know we want something we can’t get enough of, and will keep ripping through producers and beats until we find what we’re really looking for. Disclosure, is that next act music fans have been salivating for, and last week in Brooklyn, they showed America exactly why.
Simply put, they get it. Disclosure are entertainers. The missing link that’s made the cherry picking through the thrones and thrones of electronic music patches so daunting. In the warehouse feel of the art space, Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn, Disclosure filled the stage with an incredible set up that mimicked their studio as much as possible. Overflowing the small stage area with keyboards, a single drum, laptops, along with several microphones and MPC’s, in an attempt to rely on backing tracks as little as possible. As show goers filled the gallery space, you could feel the excitement already bubbling around the fact that this show was actually going to be a performance and not two kids on a laptop. Opening their first US show ever, Howard and Guy Lawrence began with the track ‘Control’, a bit symbolic in a way, as if it was their way of saying, “We are the real deal, and if you trust us, we promise you’ll have some fun.”
The show carried on with Disclosure’s remix of Jesse Ware’s ‘Running’ as an enormous gush of excitement whipped through the crowd until every single person was, in their own hipster way, dancing. Continuing on without the euphoric crowd missing a beat to a host of older edits that first helped bring attention to the duo, every aspect of the show dripped with this ‘bigger idea’; a collective awareness between the artists performing and the crowd dancing below, of both parties wanting to be a part of what was being created and felt that instant. Moving on to the duo’s unreleased remix of UK garage pioneer’s, Artful Dodger’s hit ‘Please Don’t Turn Me On’, the brothers took a moment to pay homage in a kind of ‘DJ passing of the torch’.
And as any professional entertainer knows, you have to bring all that built up excitement to a head at some point. Flirting with the crowd, Howard humbly leaned into the microphone and said, “Thank you so much for making our first show fucking amazing, we have one more for you.” You could feel the crowd buzzing with this energy, they knew the insanely catchy bassline and signature wobbly drops were coming as ‘Latch’ began to fill the speakers of the room. The most recent and most anthem-worthy of Disclosure’s tracks, featuring newcomer, singer Sam Smith, punched a hole in the ceiling of Glasslands and blew the roof completely off. Closing with a new tune they “hadn’t quite worked out yet”, a heart pumping 90′s throwback nod to the early days of house music had the dance party below going absolutely insane with a communal “I love this moment” feel. Everyone had grins across their face and eagerly cheered and screamed, “Welcome to New York!” as the song came to a close and the boys graciously thanked the extremely packed room of music fans.
What took place at Glasslands last week, was brothers Guy and Howard recreating that infectious UK garage, funky and house sound from their recordings, and instead of relying on those recordings and a laptop to get them through a live show, Disclosure took their creative process all the way to the stage and didn’t stop creating until the lights went off.
So for music fans today, and their connection to Disclosure, it’s not about a 2-step revival, (yes, I read the NY Times review of the show), because most of the people listening to Disclosure don’t remember 2-step, or care, for that matter. It’s about more than that. About the movement behind 2-step. Kids going to clubs and dancing to some ground-breaking music being played by the best DJs and musicians in the game. We want to dance, get sweaty, feel the beat, and be a part of the moment. The laptops are secondary. The boys behind Disclosure understand it’s more than music that we want. We want the entire club, their hearts and their soul, and we won’t stop gnawing and raking our own skin until we get it.