The lineup: Guy and Howard Lawrence.
The background: We were talking about pop duos on Tuesday, and here’s another one, Disclosure, only this pair are part of a separate, glorious tradition: the sibling double-act. Most of the time, brothers are in bands: the Knopflers, the Gallaghers, the Davies, the Reids, the Kemps, the Maels (the Beach Boys and Jackson 5 featured several siblings, and we know what happened to them). Guy and Howard Lawrence are, unless someone out there can disabuse us of this notion, the first brother-brother dance-pop duo ever, or they are if you don’t count late-70s Sparks (and you should always count late-70s Sparks).
Of course, you could argue, in pseudo-Freudian terms, that all great pop duos, especially the synth-pop ones of the 80s, from Soft Cell to Pet Shop Boys, were unrelated males masquerading as brothers or unequal halves of a fraternal psyche or something, usually with one operating as the flamboyant half, and the other as the poker-faced half, ie the sidekick on keyboards. Generally, brothers in bands hated each others’ guts and it often culminated in violence; meanwhile, the faux-sibling set-ups had marginally more amicable results. Freud would probably nod knowingly at this, but then, he was a big fan of post-punk electro.
Disclosure don’t appear – yet – to have that sort of dynamic, with one gregarious brother out front and the other as the backroom boy, but we say that not knowing quite who does what. We just know that one of them is 16, the other 19, that they have remixed Everything Everything and Crystal Fighters, released their debut single, Offline Dexterity, in 2010 on Moshi Moshi’s singles club, and that they have just issued a follow-up in double A-side single, Carnival/I Love … That You Know, on the fabulous Transparent (that’s not its name, by the way, it’s an opinion based on its catalogue: Washed Out, Keep Shelly in Athens, Perfume Genius, Holy Other, Therapies Son).
Apart from that, we just have their music to go on, which is impressive, and not just because they’re so young. We admit that we did factor this into our judgment, but it wasn’t the only consideration. We like it, and if you like it, too – literally “like” it, pressing that icon on their Facebook page – you will be entitled to a free download of five tracks. The single, I Love … That You Know, is just danceable enough to be called “house” and just jerky enough, with its hiss and static, to be considered dubstep. It’s sleek, modern and full of space, like a Habitat kitchen doing the boogaloo. There’s also a soulful vocal that is variously sped-up and slowed down, and overall it approaches the sombre feel of James Blake’s “blubstep”. Blue You is comparatively straight dance music, with a modicum of rhythmical quirkiness and textural glitchiness. Just Your Type has enough crackle to warrant issue on the Leaf label. Again, there is a soulful voice, male or female we can’t tell, and its modernist sleekness reminds us of Romanthony, and we’re not just saying that to sound cool (maybe a bit). Disclosure have been