Disclosure The Face EP – Review


Following on from the substantial hype surrounding their remix of Jessie Ware’s Running, fresh-faced brotherly duo Disclosure return with a quartet of vocal house-cum-2step on Berlin-London label, Greco-Roman.

The focus of The Face EP is very much on the inclusion and manipulation of female vocals, a classically UKG trait that the two young brothers have placed their own slant on ever since their impressive arrival with Tenderly late last year.

Boiling features the vocal talents of Sinead Harnett, who lends her melancholic, yearning lyrics to the drifting synths and oscillating bassline, though the track does feel somewhat like an intro to the EP, clocking in at under 4 minutes and feeling more like an edit fit for radio. It seems the siblings are already well aware of their success in both the underground and the mainstream, and are making tracks more suited for the Greg James drive-time show on Radio 1 than the club.

All this goes through one’s head before even reaching the second track of the EP and the aural delights of What’s In Your Head. My worries of their mainstream pursuit disappear as the track’s sexy groove unfolds; this is pure house-2step fire and exactly the reason why we should celebrate the fusion of sounds this city provides. In the build-up, the chopped vocal samples are barely audible, flirting with the tempered instrumentation before unleashing themselves in full effect on the drop. And if you’ve seen this unofficial video one truly committed fan has made, those sampled sex noises take on a whole new level of meaning. Sincerely sensual.

Lividup is perhaps the weakest track on the EP, as it takes much the same approach with a mélange of euphoric synths and chord stabs alongside a chorus of unintelligible chopped vocals – not unpleasant in themselves, but which seem a little less natural and effective compared to their back catalogue. An average variant of their otherwise triumphant formula.

But then Control and Ria Ritchie turn up to the party, and everything is forgiven all over again. Same formula as the others, but this time the brothers opt for an out and out 2-step groove and are perfectly at home with it, particularly when the markedly subdued intro gives way to an incendiary Wookie-esq bassline and what can only be described as a polyphonic bleep melody.

So despite my mumblings and grumblings, this is undoubtedly the strongest full release Disclosure have had to date with two tracks set for club domination and another deservedly tipped for daytime radio success. That’s truly quite an achievement in this day and age, and whilst in places it’s hard to distinguish whether they make housey-pop or poppy-house, so long as the good tracks are this good, no one can have any protestations.

By Adam Tiran