DJs are a dime a dozen. But a few times every decade, the world gets an act with the creativity, vision, and voice to change the course of pop music.
Nearly ten years ago, French house duo Daft Punk laid the foundation for an electronic dance music explosion, when its Alive 2007 tour pierced popular American consciousness and Kanye West co-opted "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" for a rap hit of almost exactly the same name. But it would take dubstep dynamo Skrillex to seal the deal on a massive mainstream audience. And now, with dance music at its pop peak, the heroes once again come from across the pond. But instead of going big, they're taking it back to basics.
Of course, we're referring to Disclosure.
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Disclosure is two British brothers with enough Detroit soul to elicit a string of collaborations from Mary J. Blige and enough dance appeal to keep the EDM kids pumping their fists. Since making their U.S. debut at Ultra Music Festival in 2013, the duo's Howard and Guy Lawrence have been at the forefront of a new movement, inspiring fans and peers to dig deep and pull back. Their debut album, 2013's Settle, featuring breakout hits "White Noise" and "Latch," is not about anxiety-inducing builds and ear-busting drops. It's about musicality, infectious rhythms, catchy hooks, and good old-fashioned four-on-the-floor.
The Lawrences' vintage spin on an original sound was so different and subtle compared to much of 2010s EDM, which is mostly preoccupied with being louder and harder than its competition. But still, even with its decidedly untrendy approach, Settle earned both critical and commercial success, having tapped into a yearning for nuanced, substantive dance music. The album sold 165,000 copies in the six months following its release while the brothers landed nominations for the UK's esteemed Mercury Prize and the Grammys' Best Dance/Electronica Album of 2014.
These days, the whole UK house revival thing might not seem so new. The dance scene moves at the speed of the internet. And over the last couple of years, the American scene has been introduced to many talented Brit acts with similar styles, though always with a music-first approach to songwriting and craft.
But that doesn't mean Disclosure is anything to sleep on. The duo continues to push itself and its live show. Just take its upcoming Miami Music Week return with Wild Life, the band's international, sporadic concert series.
Starring the Lawrence brothers and some of their favorite artists, Wild Life will make its Miami debut with a two-day, two-venue, Wynwood-to-Miami-Beach mini-fest featuring performances from Dirtybird Records' Justin Martin and Claude VonStroke, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Felix Da Housecat, and Just Blaze, among others.
And naturally, each night culminates in a DJ set from Disclosure that's sure to start a fire in any discerning fan's dancing shoes.
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Disclosure Presents: Wild Life Miami. With Disclosure (DJ set), Justin Martin, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, DJ EZ, and special guest Carl Craig. Co-presented by Poplife. Thursday, March 26. Soho Studios, 2136 NW First Ave., Miami. The party starts at 8 p.m. and ends at 3 a.m. Tickets cost $40 to $50 plus fees via ticketfly.com. Ages 18 and up. Call 305-600-4785 or visit sohostudiosmiami.com.
Disclosure Presents: Wild Life Miami. With Disclosure (DJ set), Claude VonStroke, Just Blaze, Felix Da Housecat, Kevin Saunderson, and Jonas Rathsman. Co-presented by Poplife. Friday, March 27. Thompson Miami Beach Hotel, 4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. The party starts at noon and ends at 10:45 p.m. Tickets cost $55 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Call 877-793-8519 or visit thompsonhotels.com.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.
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