What’s that distant throb sidling its way into our collective consciousness like that housemate you carried to bed not twenty minutes ago and but keeps on stumbling downstairs to re-join the party?
It must be a new Disclosure choon and, as the name suggests, it’s a wee bit of a banger. While the early releases that preceded their stratospheric debut Settle ‘Latch’ and ‘White Noise’ were radio friendly earworms that didn’t particularly indicate how ensconced in minimal acid house the album would be, it seems that the reverse is happening here. The Lawrence brothers have promised a more ‘song-based’ album this time round, so what better taster could they offer than a late night dancefloor designate with little to know melody that intensifies, but never deviates from, its one-track beat?
Not that this constitutes a misfire from the master mixers of euphoric house. Sonically ‘Bang That’ feels like a spiritual successor to ‘Grab Her’, a pilled-up mid-set pulsator designed to push the audience into producing ever more ridiculous dance moves without feeling self-conscious. I say ‘audience’ because ‘Bang That’ is not a headphones song. Much like segments of The Prodigy’s latest album The Day Is My Enemy, it’s been chemically constructed in a secret dance lab as the perfect track to drop at festivals the world over. This is in no way a crime and, as acts like Disclosure break out of the tedium of club mixing and continue to grab the major summer slots once reserved solely for bands, the strange phenomenon of DJs having ‘live favourites’ will continue, ensuring the provision of an arsenal of controlled drops (like the very un-Disclosure one at 1:15) to be rushed out when ailing festivalers need resuscitation.
This is the core problem with ‘Bang That’. It’s impossible not to imagine yourself bombed-up in some field in in Somerset while listening to it, because there’s nothing innately interesting about the track if you keep drugs and dancing out. The beat sounds like Disclosure took every major house or techno track released since the 80s and put them in a blender set to ‘generic’, while the underlying undulating bass sounds so synthetically tribal that you wish the duo had tried out some more live instrumentation in the studio this time round.
Listening to this track on the bus, or walking to work, or planning a series of ever more elaborate heists, can only ever be a soulless experience. ‘Bang That’ should get listeners excited for festival season, but Disclosure are going to have to provide something more exciting if Settle’s successor aims to reach the bar they’ve set for themselves.