PH: Flor Ibañez
About a year ago, a friend told me her nephew received Ableton 11 as a Christmas gift, and asked me for resources to learn music production. I told her the only thing they had to do was lock him in a room listening to Disclosure's debut album on loop. Settle (2013) is the ultimate house album if you will. Guy Lawrence's night at C Complejo Art Media kicked off with the same 'Intro', playing with the vocal sample: Buenos Aires and "When a fire" share almost all of the vocal sounds.
Franzizca was the warm-up DJ, starting low-key and building up the vibe. She introduced patch-type conga or timbal percussion, wood and glass sounds, and the watery hi-hats Kit Mackintosh define in Neon Screams (2022). The venue filled up as she performed, and visuals displayed glitch waves on a mercury-like surface.
No waiting around, no stage changes, the older Lawrence brother jumped on and threw down a mix of 'Intro' and 'F For You'—a sneak peek of what the night had in store. A famous video of Freddie Mercury belting out in a packed stadium slipped into the visuals and sound, making us respond to Queen's gig, and sampling their screams in one of the many drops of the night. The tracks 'Douha (Mali Mali)' and 'Waterfall' were well-received, tweaked a bit at the begging and exploded at the end.
In his Caja Negra (2022) interview, Hernán Cattáneo tells Julio Leiva "no serious DJ wants to pass as a musician, feeling like a guitarist while playing music." But the Lawrence brothers are killing it at both. Is Disclosure's show a concert or a set? A live instruments show, like some seen on YouTube, would have been better? The DJ's skill quickly made fade away any doubts one might have had. Disclosure is, if you will, an electronic band, appealing to both ravers and music lovers, electronic music fans, and concertgoers.
It's a combination, part set, and part concert. On one hand, there were fewer sunglasses and jaw-dropping than at a rave, fewer of those who, ten years ago, went to the club to drink vodka and pick fights, and now ask if you feel the energy. On the other hand, Guy rocked it like a DJ, throwing a fantastic party with an impressive set that the only criticism could be its duration. After the first tracks, we dove straight into the continuity of an uninterrupted set, with Alicia Keys 'Fallin' vocals, 'Simply Won't Do' as the first appearance of Alchemy (2023), and an accelerated version of 'White Noise’.
Like a concert, Disclosure's show is a rave where you sing along; the 'Help Me Lose My Mind' bassline slowed us down a bit, and the body bounce got softer. It's a rave where you see a wider range of looks, from plain shirts to retro Manchester City jerseys, and the famous outfits of those who probably took more time dressing up than Guy spent on stage. Like a concert, the audience couldn't stop watching the musician, something that fades in parties throughout the night as dance circles begin to organize the space. Like in a rave, we left with a high, partying vibe, with 'Looking For Love' and 'Omen,' and a mix of other vocals for the final drop.
Once again: an electronic band, as irresponsible as it may sound. They deliver both banging tracks and songs with tremendous strength. Consider, for example, Flume's remix of 'You and Me'—a contemporary dance class classic—that many people know and listen to without even knowing who Disclosure is, with 105 million views compared to the original track's five. Consider all those people who go to see Cattaneo, Peggy Gou, or Joris Voorn but are unfamiliar with the British duo.
So, an impressive night because Guy Lawrence handled it like a champion and delivered a flawless show where no one's absence was noticeable. At the same time, I hope they come back, I hope they come back soon, and I hope they return with the full set. Lawrence brothers, thank you for helping us lose our mind.