Disclosure Focuses EDM Back to the Future
Launching into the song "When a Fire Starts to Burn" from the duo's GRAMMY-nominated debut album, Settle, Howard Lawrence played a live bass line over the ceaseless 4/4 beat while his brother Guy triggered the song's vocal samples of former NFL player turned motivational speaker Eric Thomas in real-time. Shifting into the stuttering 2-step rhythm of "You and Me," Guy added live drums from an electronic percussion kit into the mix.
With a rotating cast of guest vocalists including Mary J. Blige, Sam Smith and Aluna Francis of AlunaGeorge, Disclosure's hour-long set was a visceral, live performance that ranked among Coachella 2014′s most talked-about and well-received sets. It's a rare distinction to be invited to perform at festival two years in a row, but rarer still can a band sum up both the past, present, and future of dance music in their set.
First, Disclosure crate-dug through the past. They conjured the deep, underground energy of Chicago and New York parties of yore where their house sound was born. The sounds coming from the stage were a far cry from rave-intensive and drop-filled bombast raging inside Coachella's famous Sahara tent on the other side of the polo field,
"Without him we wouldn't be doing what we're doing. It's as simple as that," Guy Lawrence said in regards to house trailblazer Frankie Knuckles during an interview earlier in the day of the Coachella 2014 performance. "He was a pioneer and you have to pay respect it's a big deal when someone like that passes away. He's a pioneer of a genre that all of us are involved with, especially now that it's all come back around."
Much of the debate over the current explosion of dance music in America and the catch-all tag of "EDM" revolves around authenticity. Similar to the brief but potent "electronica" movement in the late 1990s that made stars out of European acts like Chemical Brothers and the Prodigy, this latest surge in popularity faces much criticism from many veteran producers and fans.
"Listen to the classics, look back at the history," seethed longtime Chicago house artist DJ Sneak in a 2012 interview. Sneak has been a harsh critic of today's EDM scene who's taken direct shots at Swedish House Mafia and Deadmau5, among others. "If you're going to start making or playing house music, educate yourself and second respect the sound. They need to take a good look at themselves and realize that they are the worst thing that has ever happened to this music industry." more on this story
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