Thursday, September 26, 2013

Success follows full Disclosure

British electronic music duo Disclosure.

British electronic music duo Disclosure.

Having helped welcome in 2013 on the summer festival circuit, it hasn't been terribly long since Britain's Disclosure last visited Australia. In that period though, the career of electronic duo of Guy and Howard Lawrence has undergone some seismic shifts.

The release of debut album Settle in June racked up a dream combination of critical acclaim and commercial resonance for its tapestry of intelligent pop, house and garage, and has seen the brothers perform at iconic events from Glastonbury to Coachella.

All of this seemed pretty unimaginable only 12 months ago, Guy says, as he fields back-to-back interviews from fawning Australian journalists while powering along the M25 Motorway.

''When we did our first tour of Australia, we had no idea of how our songs were doing over there,'' he says. ''We knew that Triple J was playing them a little bit, but I don't think we understood the importance of Triple J - it's massive, it's almost like [BBC] Radio One over here [in Britain].''

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The rapturous crowds at Field Day and Summadayze were compelling proof of the boys' Antipodean impact.

''We didn't think anyone would know our songs, but when we played Latch and White Noise and You & Me, everyone knew the words,'' Guy says.

The validation of Australia's fluoro masses is nice enough - but to receive support from some of the world's most legendary DJs is another thing.

''People like [American house/garage producer] Todd Edwards - we watched him play the other day and he played two of our songs back-to-back,'' Guy says. ''When people like him play it, it's a great feeling.''

In a record-coming-full-circle twist, it was clubbing that gave Guy his first taste of electronic music, heading out as a 17-year-old to see DJs such as Joy Orbison, Jackmaster and Skream and Benga - ''Those were dark dubstep nights, where it would be all boys, no girls at all'' - then going home to download the highlight tracks.

''It was a whole new thing for me, but that's why I liked it, I was a bit bored of guitar music by then,'' Guy says. ''It's been around since the '50s and it kind of feels like everything's been done. I know people will disagree with that, but in terms of rock bands, I just thought all the sounds you could possibly achieve have been done.''

While Guy and his brother had received music lessons in drums, guitar and piano, it was the boundless allure of electronic music that really hooked them, and they began experimenting with laptop production, learning the ropes by trial and error.

''In terms of mixing and producing songs, me and Howard both did a really basic music technology course at school, which was nothing out of the ordinary, just a crash-course in how to use a microphone and Logic on an Apple Mac, really basic stuff,'' Guy says. ''A lot of it was just exploring on our own. I used to be in that studio every single day after school, learning as much as I could.''

Their early output was very club-focused - ''music made for dancing'' - but the brothers began to embrace poppier sensibilities as they started integrating vocals for early EPs.

''By the time we made Latch [in 2012] we'd fully decided that we were writing songs more than just club music, which is great … that's what we wanted to do,'' Guy says. After all, doing whatever they like ''seems to work for us'', he says.

The same philosophy will apply for a second album, which Guy hopes will integrate more live instruments than their debut, compiled largely with a Roland Juno-106 and software synths.

First things first, though - touring Settle, which Guy expects will take Disclosure into mid-2014.

''Then I reckon we'll get back into it,'' he says. ''I think we'll disappear, take a bit of a break and get writing again. We're always writing ideas and little pieces on the road.''

WITH: Duke Dumont, AlunaGeorge, SAFIA

WHEN: October 4

WHERE: UC Refectory

TICKETS: $59.95 + bf at moshtix.com.au


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