This brotherly combination might make you wonder what you have been doing with your time. Because Disclosure are young, at 21 and 19, but slinking through the cyberspace of music with a confidence and precision that belies their years.
This Reigate born pair has seen a hasty rise to fame, for slinging out distinct and deftly crafted remixes, since their debut single ‘Offline Dexterity’ in 2010. And it’s been non-stop since then. If you haven’t heard ‘Running’ featuring Jessie Ware flinging itself out of your radio, ‘Boiling’, ‘Latch’ or ‘Tenderly’ you are missing out on some all-consuming music, with lyrics that stick in your head and slip out of your mouth like Tourettes.
There is a geeky technical feel to their music with its precise percussive beats and soulful vocals, but none of the heaviness you might normally associate with dub-step; instead an opening of arms and heart. Disclosure’s music has been dubbed ‘lovestep’ in the blogosphere, though brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence thought this was a joke. There is something emotional about their music though, the sensuous ‘What’s in Your Head’ somehow encapsulating exactly what is in the heads of their die-hard followers. This is doubtless due to their grounding in song-writing and music; they are the full deal, not just twiddling knobs, but fast becoming the unassuming poster-boys for the UK’s burgeoning electronic music scene, and with feeling.
Disclosure’s music is curious, crisp, and crackling – slipping a new lens on some of today’s more fatiguing sounds. These boys seem to know who they are and what they want to say, and are finely attuned for the climb. i-D online caught up with Guy, the eldest of the two, in the van on the way to Glasgow for yet another show…
Why ‘Disclosure’? There’s no story really. When we made our first track, we were uploading it to myspace and we didn’t have a name yet. There were some car insurance forms by our lap-tops with ‘Terms of Disclosure’ written on the top, so we took it from there.
How did you get into music? Our parents are both singers and musicians. Our mum used to sing on cruise ships, and our dad was in a band in Canada. There were always instruments hanging around the house as a result, so we just picked them up. I first played the drums, but now also play the piano and guitar, and Howard plays bass, guitar and piano.
You have been making live shows for a year now, how is it going? We’re expanding a lot all the time. We have been playing keyboards, with bass guitar, and bringing our vocalist, but we’re aiming to have drums and an even fuller experience. It’s hard trying to get a live show to sound like the recorded version though, but it does mean no two shows are the same.
Who were your musical influences growing up? I was into American hip-hop like Busta Rhymes and Gangstar, then moved into more UK based hip-hop. Burial was the first thing we both liked though, that really brought us together. We were initially just trying to emulate Burial, and have basically been learning how to produce ever since.
Your latest track ‘Latch’, which is taking off, is more song-based; is this the direction you’re moving in? I hate writing lyrics, Howard is the lyric writer, but I actually came up with the concept for ‘Latch’, which is a more interesting way of falling for someone. For me ‘Latch’ has structure, meaning, purpose and is the most defined thing we’ve done in terms of song-writing. I think it probably comes from listening to our parents make songs, and is in keeping with our desire to veer away from just being programmers, as DJ’s tend to be. We can’t seem to help writing songs.
How do you see your music evolving further? We’re not going to change the formula, though I’m not even sure if we’ve found a formula yet. Every time we put up a new song it seems to have a great response, which is great, so we’re just going to keep on doing it.
Who would you most like to work with? Well my heroes are probably Q-Tip and D’Angelo, but I think working with them would be too weird, too surreal. It’s better to be in the studio with someone you can mould a bit, rather than someone you’re too in awe of; I wouldn’t know what to do.
Any sibling rivalries working together? We always get asked that. No-one can believe we actually get on.
Do you have a favourite club when you go out? I can’t remember the last time I was in a club and not playing. But when I was about sixteen I went to Digital in Brighton a lot, mostly to dub-step nights. I saw so many heroes there, like Rosco and Floating Points, the really heavy shit. I think we’ve got a show there in November, which will be a nice return.
What do you do in your time off? We don’t have any time off.
Brother on brother
Could you describe yourselves in 5 words?
Guy: stubborn, active, friendly, creative, fun.
Howard: measured, man, calm, tired, gorgeous.
And could you describe one another in 5 words?
Guy on Howard: not actually that gorgeous mate.
Howard on Guy: Shoes, cars, hip, hop, safe.
Tell us something about your brother that only you know?
Guy on Howard: he hates lamps.
Howard on Guy: he used to tap dance.
Text: Connie Allfrey