In the 90s, it was “intelligent.” Today “credible” is the condescending buzzword producers use to discriminate between techno, house and disco on the one hand and the dance pop of Lady Gaga on the other.
But every once in a while, an act that appeals to both equally standoffish camps comes along and unites snobs of all stripes on one dance floor. This year that act is Disclosure, the barely legal brotherly British duo of Guy and Howard Lawrence. They first lured pop kids into the underground with a deep house remix of Jessie Ware’s single Running and kept them there with Latch and White Noise, two pristinely produced singles that effusively merged a classic UK garage sensibility with top-notch pop songwriting.
Their debut album, Settle, further delivers on that boundary-busting promise with a perfect mix of sample-driven techno and deep house minimalism, soulful and snappy vocal bangers and left-field mid-tempo jams. It’s a pop record, a history lesson and – for those uninitiated in the funky UK house tradition – a gateway drug all in one.
Top track: Defeated No More