Posts Tagged ‘Disclosure’

GORGON CITY 06.11.15

November 12, 2015

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After the music comes to an abrupt stop, the sound of metal grinding its teeth on meth explodes into the air. As if nails were scratching a chalkboard, the drums scowl with a nasty drawl. This is grime music, the choice sound of U.K.’s underground edge. Seconds later the grime thrusts straight, four-counts that is, into the arms of acid. All the while, the sight of purple and pink lasers pushes toward the ceiling and pulls to the floor again in erratic shifts. The performance stage’s dynamics border haywire. In the audience an army of fists arises. Voices cheer. Welcome to…

GORGON CITY

Thoughts of Gorgon City swallowing you whole would seem most appropriate. Given so, Gorgon’s Greek root gorgós translates: dreadful. Recall in Greek mythology, the three monster sisters? Stheno, Euryale and the stone-turning Medusa were Gorgons. Monsters! Terror! And dread! Oh my. You will be hard pressed to find any hint of hideous in Gorgon City. The only Gorgon in sight is a printed Medusa silhouette head on T-shirts selling for $20.

In the bowels of the Masquerade where Hell and Purgatory are playmates, the heart of Gorgon City beats upstairs. In Heaven! Yes, Heaven. Heaven is 10,000 square feet of conspicuous space guarded by exposed walls. Heaven bares a stage-a massive stage. Where metal beams protrude vertically into the air, like exaggerated frames of future skyscrapers, which are connected to more beams that run horizontally across the stage like railroad tracks. Four-way resembling traffic lights perform stop and go commands on the edges of the platform. Where three light traffic signals are not enough and four lights are a must, Gorgon City is a fortified fortress.

A fortress partitioned by a gate where Gorgon City’s denizens are separated from the elevated action. Their stares gaze upward, eagerly awaiting the sight of their alderman. The creative counsel responsible for unbridled screams.

“ATLANTAAAA!!! Are. You. READY?” A voice calls from the stage. Lights out! The room goes black. Bodies are heard moving about in the shadows. For one mili-minute voices fall silent….until. Lights flash like a bolt of lightening. A game of green turned white fluorescents floods the stage to the back of the room. A spectacular LED show blinds retinas. “BOOOMMM!!!” A crackling explosion drops from speaker cabinets. The sound of bass jolts the heart. The pitter-patter of live drums crescendo as an approaching freight train.

A shield of dense vapor breaks away, revealing two youthful faces; one bearded the other with a light goatee. Their hands glide and pluck at controls, steering their sonic youth in forward directions. They stare at each other from their DJ techno pods that are separated by an actual acoustic drum kit played by a live drummer. Imagine music played live, merged electronically with ‘Live and Push.’ This is the future of house music realized in the 21st century.

Kye “Foamo” Gibbon and Mat “RackNRuin” Robson-Scott provides more than Gorgon City’s soundtrack, the duo is Gorgon City. Both are British, raised in North London, and never gave much inkling to music or music careers as lads. Whilst teenagers their music tastes were more diverse than their traditional rearing: Kye in hip-hop and Mat in punk. Their mutual attraction to jungle, AKA drum-n-bass led them to pursue DJ stints as monikers “Foamo” and “RackNRuin.” Separately signing with the same DJ agency, unbeknownst at the time, paid off when one night, the two met at a club and purposed to record together. After success, the two now named Gorgon City signed with the powerhouse Black Butter Records that fronted them vocalists such as Tanzania born and South Shields resident LuLu James.

Onstage appears her hourglass figure. Her elongated fingers clasp a microphone. The mocha-skinned beauty sashays as her long mane brushes against her back. The solid black multi-pattern white print dress she wears is wrapped around her frame so tight that she might have to be scissor out of it by nights end. She lowers her legs until she sits atop her wedge heels. With her back straight she sings, “We Used To Be Real.”

The purists could argue so. Where Gorgon City’s earlier work paid tribute to Athena and Thor as underground themes, it was their vocal number “Real” that danced onto the UK Singles Chart. The duos tasting of commercial success dictated 2014’s “Sirens” be all pop house. A trend currently followed by several British duo DJs, the most successful to date, two brothers hailing from Reigate, Surrey, England.

DISCLOSURE*

A month earlier, on a balmy early October night, Disclosure stepped onstage at Atlanta, Georgia’s historic Tabernacle. Guy and Howard took to their swiveling techno pods. Their smiles promised the greatest. What could ever go wrong? This stop marked the fourteenth date on their “Caracal” U.S. tour.  “Superego” jump-started their set. “Omen” erupted in flames. “F for You” proved well with Howard’s chops where “Jaded” felt remote. After several bubbling numbers, the pop fizzled. “Willing and Able” stalled. “Nocturnal” failed to impress, even as the lads were air lifted and played electric guitars. “I heard their first album is better than the second album.” A blue-eye with blond highlights spectator whispered. Perhaps so, as “Bang That” and “When A Fire Starts To Burn” thrust the performance into hyper rave. With the stage lit, actual pyrotechnics exploded against erratic laser beams. A thunderous applause erupted as gigantic monitors played an animated Gregory Porter lipping “Holding On.” “Caracal” the concert exceled the moment Lionbabe’s Jillian Harvey strutted onstage and sung “Hourglass.” Her birdwalk and high kicks stole the show. American born Brendan Reilly appeared and sung the hell out of, “Moving Mountains” and brought the chuuuuh to the Tabernacle. Side note, Google him. All before the two Lawrence brothers disappeared into the black and reemerged with “Latch” the show closer.

“Atlanta this is so far the best show.” Bragged Guy-the younger of the two brothers. Honestly this was far from their best show played in Atlanta. The Disclosure concert lacked star power. Real star power. Not to say, the band-of-brothers are not on the road to stardom, or stars themselves. But when your music plays the soundtrack to the stars, then the stars had better show and perform live. *

“If I Had A Dime and Dollar, For Every Motherf…..”raps a gravely voice. As vocalist Josh Barry steps out, he spews a few bars from “6AM.” The former Britain’s Got Talent contestant takes his place alongside LuLu James. The two make the perfect pairing; her bangs, his dreads, both dressed in complimenting black and white, as they sing “We Were Meant To Stand Out From The Crowd” into each other’s eyes on “Elevate.” On the smash-up of Peven Everett’s “Gabriel,” interwoven with Whitney Houston’s “It’s Not Right but It’s Okay” the two come off sincere and genuine.

Don’t get it twisted like the serpents twisting on Medusa’s heads. Gorgon City is vocal house as much as Gorgon City is one entire dance party. Where the people actually dance in Gorgon City is on the outer banks of the standing crowd where a young man slams his body to every count on Omni Trio’s “Renegade Snares.” This is Mat “RackNRuin’s” roots-his best attempt that challenges the audience to dance on double counts.

Crowd pleasers continue. “Ready For Your Love”-Gorgon City’s highest UK chart-topper to date-whips bodies into motion, one twenty-something wearing a man bun mouths every lyric to “Imagination” and a alumni raver sings “Here For You,” her left arm flinging in the air as her torso shifts left to right, her face reads, “F-U-C-K off, I’m diva extraordinaire.

The diva driven powerhouse vocals on “Go All Night,” the most apropos song for a party that could have went all night, closes the party. As the sound of single stroke drumming builds into a frantic frenzy, synthesizers play sharp chords for a true rock star ending. Gorgon City closes with a bang! In a world of British dance music competitors, one winner is crowned.  Where Disclosure has attained rock star status, Gorgon City performs like rock stars.

*Contains excerpts from Disclosure 05.10.15 review on ajdancelegacy.com words by aj dance.

words: aj dance

DISCLOSURE Live 05.10

October 6, 2015

Long before The Beatles stepped foot onto American soil, the British Invasion had long occurred. Look no further than the indigenous peoples. Britain’s hunger for world dominance, a British World Order is no covert. Evidence today: James Bond, David Beckham, Adele. Even so, America’s house music community was not immune to a leveraged buyout. The Brits accepted early Chicago imports that served as blueprints for their very own commercializing of house and acid in the late 80’s. Their brand of copy & conquer continued well into the latest century. Today, a slew of fresh-faced blokes are discovered, dissected, and signed to major recording labels at fiber-optic speeds. From social media to Shoreditch no cobblestone is left untouched. At the forefront of acquisition stars Disclosure: the regal face of millennial dance. With a polished PR script that reads: two brothers hailing from Regail, Surrey, musically educated, plays instruments, acquired MySpace stardom, signed with an indie-label, and remixed a songstress that charted in music magazines, online, and commercially, after all, is what the machine is made of. Perhaps more settling, on June 3, 2013, their full-length release “Settle” and earlier released single “Latch”(ed) Disclosure as dance music’s emperors, except in the land that birthed their sound. In America the saying goes without saying, you only make it once you land on the American charts, a landing Disclosure accomplished fifty years after the more proper titled British “Music” Invasion should have been coined.  

On a balmy early October night, Disclosure stepped onstage at Atlanta, Georgia’s historic Tabernacle. Guy and Howard took to their swiveling techno pods. Their smiles promised the greatest. What could ever go wrong? This stop marked the fourteenth date on their “Caracal” U.S. tour.  “Superego” jump-started their set. “Omen” erupted in flames. “F for You” proved well with Howard’s chops where “Jaded” felt remote. After several bubbling numbers, the pop fizzled. “Willing and Able” stalled. “Nocturnal” failed to impress, even as the lads were air lifted and played electric guitars. “I heard their first album is better than the second album.” A blue-eye with blond highlights spectator whispered. Perhaps so, as “Bang That” and “When A Fire Starts To Burn” thrust the performance into hyper rave. With the stage lit, actual pyrotechnics exploded against erratic laser beams. A thunderous applause erupted as gigantic monitors played an animated Gregory Porter lipping “Holding On.” “Caracal” the concert exceled the moment Lionbabe’s Jillian Harvey strutted onstage and sung “Hourglass.” Her bird walk and high kicks stole the show. American born Brendan Reilly appeared and sung the hell out of, “Moving Mountains” and brought the chuuuuh to the Tabernacle.   Side note, Google him. All before the two Lawrence brothers disappeared into the black and reemerged with “Latch” the show closer.

“Atlanta this is so far the best show.” Bragged Guy-the younger brother. Honestly this was far from their best show played in Atlanta. The Disclosure concert lacked star power. Real star power. Not to say, the band-of-brothers are not on the road to stardom, or stars themselves. But when your music plays the soundtrack to the stars, then the stars had better show and perform live.

words: aj dance

visuals: aj dance

DISCLOSURE 27.12.14

December 28, 2014

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Disclosure

The House That Chicago and Detroit Built

 22:30

“How do you stay motivated in the midst of everything going on?” Preachy vocals ask. Young ladies nibble nervously at the paint on their fingernails while the fellas draw their BAEs toward their waists. The sea of half-naked bodies has experienced several opening DJ sets throughout the evening. Various visages appear worn but the majority of eyes stare with dilated pupils. The crowd becomes more fidgety as the voice preaches on. “How do you build your personal momentum and get in the zone?” The Eric Tomas “Rope-A-Dope” sample not only opens Disclosure’s Grammy nominated album, Settle but their live DJ set. Thirty-seconds later, the bombastic voice breaks free for a thump and a clap. “When A Fire Starts to Burn” it burns. Smart devices soar upward to record the Disclosure logo burning on five high-definition stadium monitors. A resounding cheer of approval erupts from mouths of babes. Literally these decorated kids, some who are dressed like infants, are babies. A football team logo of a blue star with a white and blue outline is etched onto the back of a ball cap that oscillates left to right. Someone standing next to me is so excited they deem it appropriate to light up. In the Dallas Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center chewing gum and lip-balm are prohibited but not marijuana?

Despite the unappealing whiff the music remains the focus.

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Layers of pounding percussions make way for a marching four-on-the-floor that beckons earlier Chicago underground warehouse parties with far superior acoustics.

For a hefty music festival the acoustics sound anemic almost weightless. More bottoms, a heavier bass, and high-definition sonics would enhance the Grammy nominated “F for You” disguised beneath bubbly drums and hissing hi-hats. A more defined soundscape would thrust the body forward when the tom-toms drop allowing Howard Lawrence’s understated vocals to send a rushing shock to the heart providing a F-ing mind blowing bass drop.

Actually, the visuals are the money. At the climax on “F for You” (Remix) fireballs shoot towards the ceiling. The sight of fog hovering overhead makes jaws drop. On cue Disclosure’s outline face dances from screen to screen. Laser lights flood the stage and then paints the audience electric green. The gregarious theatrics is controlled by the event’s nucleus, a 500 square feet booth located in the center of the room.

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Then a dog crawls by on all fours, some kid is dressed in a head-to-toe dog costume. There dances a grey rat, sorry but this year a dead mouse appears nowhere on the line-up. There is no shortage of tomfoolery in this world.

In the land of God, guns, and Ford trucks there is Lights All Night. The two-day indoor rave-ahem, festival-in its fifth year, features the crème de la crop of EDM giants playing in four separated spaces. The Drop. The Deep. The Turn Up. The Mothership 2.0. It is within the Mothership 2.0 where class plays hierarchy.  Onstage stands the DJ rock god, below is the alter, there stands his worshippers hurdled in a massive lump, the girls who cry tears and the boys who fist-pump, the dancers and the hicks with glow sticks prance around the inner sanctuary as the very important people stare afar from their exclusive gated community-the VIP-in the outer sanctuary. All the while, security monitors the pulse of the room.  

A pulse that thumps to a thud a few songs later. Around the inner sanctuary, furry boots and skinny jeans sit in clicks on the concrete floor. Perhaps the venue’s lack of intimacy is to blame? The Lawrence brother, yes a lone brother and not the awesome twosome, stands behind an entirely too huge arsenal. He appears dwarfed and too far away to woo the crowd. “Dallas are you still with me?”

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His black T-shirt turns from left to right. His hands appear to punch and twist knobs. Sadly, this crowd will never know if he is playing music live or not. Disclosure is not the best of DJs. Their technical mixing can be clunky but at least you know they are not aided by computer software for beat matching.   But that is on those Boiler Room videos. God only knows what happens when one is erected ten feet in the air.

A hiccup burps from the speaker. A skid-ity-clat, clat, bubbles until it bursts underneath a breathy falsetto. As vocalist Sasha Kimbal battles the voices in her head the music drops into existence and the room’s thermostat rises. Disclose-minus-the-sure turns the tide by playing vocals, a much-needed welcome to the mainly instrumental affair thus far.    

To keep the people’s energy level boiling it appears this crowd needs more apeshit. Something that Disclosure is not. Disclosure is more 1990’s house than today’s cake face antics.  

Disclosure’s rise-to-fame dates back to 2008 a time when the two brothers, Howard and Guy Lawrence first listened to electronic music. Feeding their veins dubstep, brostep, and electro did not make the cut. So the Surrey natives explored the rich history pages of electronic dance music. Their discovery led them to the steel and automotive factories buried beneath the rubble of Midwest America. The musical movement birthed from the original EDM fathers during the post disco era yielded fruitful results. The Lawrence brother’s sound: the house and techno that Chicago and Detroit built. A sound that remains relevant and reverent. That is why you will hear in their live DJ set.  

“Jack…Jack….Jack…Jack Your body,” the Steve “Silk” Hurley classic playing over a sample of Maurice Joshua’s “This is Acid.”

Chi-town’s diva Dajae wailing, “Lift Me Up” on Cajmere’s “Brighter Days.” Alumni house heads appreciate the Underground Goodie Mix. EDM lovers scratch their heads. Disclosure feeds filet mignon to Happy Meal eaters.  

“This is something new.” The confident voice hypes to faces covered in candy masks resembling Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat. The four-to-floor thumps at 130 BPM with chopped effects recalling juke house birthed on Chicago’s South Side. “Shake That Ass” a voice whispers that commands derrieres bounce as if quivering outdoors in the 30 degrees air.

The scent of sex lingers in the air like cheap eau de toilette. From the guy dancing in yellow short shorts to a woman’s breasts trying to escape her furry bikini. The couple swapping spit next to me. The couple dry humping in front of me. The couple swaying in one another’s arms behind me.

When the one-half of Disclosure is not paying homage to the pioneers of house and techno, he markets his song that reached number two on the United Kingdom Singles Charts. “White Noise”-the song’s accompanying music video was filmed in an abandoned warehouse in Detroit-causes SuperDanceBros to high-five one another as their bare chests slam against bare chests. One bro, wearing a glowing mask of an Inca god, tries to recruit other guys to join their mating ritual.

“If house is a nation, I want to be president.” DJ Roland Clark’s presents Urban Soul speaks on “President House.”   For thirty deafening seconds the music disappears. “If house is a nation, I want to be president,” the voice repeats like a hundred times. Dancing feet halt. Mouths are silenced. Faces appear confused. What is a house nation?   Tribal drums thump but these thumps sound more manufactured on the latest music software than played organically.  The congas bring out the Latinas, dressed provocatively in carnival fashion wearing no more than dental floss and mile-high feathered headdresses.  Mexico flags wave in the air. A Puerto Rican flag is wrapped around the male genitalia of a barely twenty-year-young lad. This party proves American born Mexicans are representing in mass numbers. The latest Spanglish generation has abandoned salsa dancing to writhe their legs over one another. A movement that continuously appeared over the past sixty minutes across the conference hall. Glossy sneakers kick front to back and twists in and out with bouts of spasms.   “Security! Please, call a paramedic.” These younglings have restless leg syndrome. I’m told no paramedic is needed. “This is called the shuffle.” Dazed and confused, I reply, “Calling that a shuffle is (explicit).”

And why must the running man make a comeback?

And to think Generation X proclaims that Generation Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat. is only concerned with snapping selfies than actually dancing at raves. Ah, they do dance. It’s a dance by a different name.

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23:52

The tribal dance comes to a grinding halt. “Dallas, sing your heart out to this next song.” “Now I’ve Got You In My Space,” neon glowing lips sing in return. Disclosure closes out the set with “Latch” their top ten hit that made them a household name.  

“Do ya want one more?” He asks with his British accent sounding more evident than at anytime during the night. “Only if you want it.”

A reverb effect sounds as synthesizers sweep over a stark drum kick. Eyebrows shift upward. Eyes bulge. Bright smiles light up the room. This might be the best song he has played all night, someone thinks, if not the most recognizable song of the night, someone else thinks. A sea of hands charge the air as if playing gangsta at a rap concert. “Sorry Ms. Jackson.” “Ooh,” the crowd sings after the music fades. “Dallas can I get a…..” “Ever, Forever, Ever, the crowd sings at the appropriate time. What a becoming tribute to the ATLiens.  

“I’m Guy, one-half of Disclosure. I had a blast. Thanks for coming out.” The young man announces before disappearing into black.

 24:00

Why younger brother Howard was amiss remains unclear. Guy, the older Lawrence brother aired a self-confidence as to suggest he was groomed to DJ solo. Having to play music and please a crowd of hundreds can be burdensome when you are accustomed to sharing the spotlight. No small feat for a twenty-three years young fresh face with a five o’ clock shadow. The ability to conquer the small allows Disclosure to conquer mountain peaks where their counterparts trip and fall. Their ability to wholly take their craft seriously; producing music with intrinsic value, creating a critically acclaimed compilation, performing live while playing actual instruments and paying homage to the old-skool in their DJ outfit justifies means. Their will to revive house music’s golden years and repackage it to their generation is a testament. Disclosure is not freshmen playing on a varsity team: they are the team. They create the rules, the plays and they score! These two brothers just might be the saviors of house music.    

Words and Visuals by AJ Dance

Ten Reasons How Disclosure Ruled House Music In 2014 While You Slept.

December 22, 2014

The UK lads ruled house music and deep house music in 2014. “WHO?”  You house music purists ask.  Here are ten reasons how they accomplished this accolade while you slept.

10. Madonna really???

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9. Usher is kissed by a Disclosure remix.

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8. A Billboard trade magazine cover.

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7. They are the next generation responsible for taking deep/soulful house music to the mainstream.

6. The Queen of Hip Hop goes house on the Disclosure produced “Right Now” and “Follow” singles on her critically acclaimed “The London Sessions.”

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5. Disclosure’s “Latch” launched songster Sam Smith into superstardom.

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4. “Rest in peace Frankie Knuckles, an inspirational pioneer of the music we love.” -Disclosure

 

3. Disclosure’s “F for You” featuring Mary J. Blige earns a GRAMMY nomination.

 

2. “Latch” becomes a surprise summer hit in the States.

 

1. Disclosure is AJ Dance’s artist/DJ/producer and remixer of 2014 and “Latch” is his favorite house song of the year, although the song was released in October 2012.  Anyways, congratulations!

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