SURPRISE!!! Brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence released Disclosure’s fourth studio album, Alchemy, with little‐to‐no press preamble nor teasers tracks. The first album launched on their independent label, Apollo records, keeps in‐step with their previous offering Energy in their continued rediscovery of Disclosure the club artist, rather than Disclosure the chart aspirants. You immediately get the impression this album is meant more for the purists, rather than a collection of ‘Featuring’ artist tracks to catch the eye of the average downloader.
The album starts off with Looking for Love, a track I’d be unsurprised to hear on their first album, Settle, albeit at a slightly increased tempo. The brothers then provide us with a hypnotic jungle house baseline in Simply Won’t Do – simple melodies & vocals with chord progressions that they are well known for. Higher Than Ever Before brings an old‐school Jungle/Drum and Bass vibe of the early 1990s, making this one of my favourite songs on the album, before A Little Bit returns to similar melodies and chord progressions we experienced in the first track ‐ classic Disclosure. A move to some 2‐step beats, Go the Distance provides some garage feels, which progresses into high‐frequency notes toward the end that would make your tweeters work overtime and undoubtedly remind the more established (A.K.A. older) listener of Josh Wink’s Higher State of Consciousness, which, for those not familiar with that particular track, is high praise indeed.
The album then provides somewhat of an interlude in Someday…, a short piece with soulful warm vocal harmonies and little else. This 46‐second track signifies the step away from what you would consider to be typically Disclosure productions and more towards tracks heard in their DJ sets. This is immediately clear with We Were in Love and Sun Showers, which are more in the classic house music
mould. Purify edges towards an ambient, tribal beats vibe before the final two offerings, Brown Eyes and Talk on the Phone, close out with Daft Punk tones and a more disco house feel.
Alchemy is very much a two‐part album, showcasing the two sides of Disclosure. While a touch disjointed in its flow, each track does take the listener in interesting directions. After 11 years in the biz, Disclosure has leaned on their careers in clubland to experiment with their sound while remaining true to their Settle roots.