Here's Noisey Teen Eli holding the vinyl house music box set he got from his dad. He also drew a Disclosure face on himself.
[Editor's Note: Welcome to the latest edition of Teen Time!, our column by and for teens. Our teen's name is Eli (he's above). Eli is from New Jersey, and in the past, we forced him to spend his snow day listening to new wave and he also interviewed his teachers about what cool music they listen to. Over the weekend, he DM'd us to tell us that his dad loves house music, but only the old stuff—you know, when music used to be good before all the new young people ruined it. He showed him Disclosure's new track "Bang That" and received a lesson in music and, like all great fatherly advice, life. It's teen time!]
Y’know the archetypal Classic Rock Dad? The guy who thinks modern rock is dead and nothing will ever top “More Than A Feeling”? Well that’s my dad, except his penchant is for house music. During father-son outings, he tells me about the gospel roots and sheer grit of house forefathers Mr. Fingers and Frankie Knuckles, explain the importance of seminal dance hotspot Paradise Garage, and/or kvetch about how house ain’t the same anymore.
Disclosure just dropped “Bang That,” and it’s a reminder that the UK twin duo fucking nail the classic house sound. They took this approach on their holy moly debut, 2013’s Settle. I thought my dad would dig Disclosure, so on Saturday I showed him “When A Fire Starts To Burn.” Its minimal, tubular-sounding tones reminded him of Mr. Fingers’ house psalm “Can You Feel It.” Later that day, I sat my dad down to hear “Bang That” and other Disclosure cuts, along with breaking down the early house scene and Googling genre classics:
Eli: So what should I search?
Dad: MFSB, “Love Is The Message.”
[At 0:32] That’s it. This is house. And you hear the skipping snare?
Eli: Yeah. So was this sampled by artists, or was it an inspiration?
Dad: It was an inspiration. Everything that the house artists and producers were doing when house was getting started in the 80s, whether they realized it or not, they were influenced by this section [of “Love Is The Message”].
Eli: And Larry Levan? (note: he was the in-house DJ at Paradise Garage)
Dad: He played it. This was the anthem of the Paradise Garage. But that little section, that’s house. If you’re ever looking for the beginning of house, that’s it.
Eli: Ok. So I’m gonna find “Bang That.”
[At 0:30] So you know how they take out the snare hit? Was that something early house artists did too?
Dad: I don’t think so. That’s just a mixing technique, to build up anticipation and get the crowd screaming. That’s been in disco and club music forever. Yeah, they’d turn the lights off, get the strobes going, build up a vibe.
Eli: And the track I showed you earlier [“When A Fire Starts To Burn”]?
Dad: That’s more Mr. Fingers-y. This sounds a little more tribal. The one you played earlier, they were definitely listening to Mr. Fingers.
Eli: This one is Mr. Fingers-y too, a little?
Dad: Uh, not so much. This is more clubby—breakdowns and trying to freak people out. I love the breakdowns. That’s just great house mixing. Do you have any other songs?
Eli: They made one with Mary J. Blige.
It’s a re-done version of one of their songs [“F For You”]. I haven’t heard this yet, but I heard the original.
Dad: Yeah, you hear that bassline? Definitely Mr. Fingers-y. That seems to be where they’re planting their roots. Search Marshall Jefferson, “Move Your Body.” That’s the anthem.
Eli: Oh yeah, you’ve showed me this.
Dad: You can hear the connection between this and “Love Is The Message.”
Eli: And those drums sound live.
Dad: I think they might’ve sampled them. Not many people were looping back then. If you wanna talk house, this is what I think of as house.
Eli: Disclosure definitely take a lot from this.
Dad: Yeah, Disclosure are the lineage of this. They’re doing their homework. Just that [Mr. Fingers-y] tubular bass sound you picked up on earlier, that’s the closest to actual house that I’ve heard.
Eli: Yeah, I’ll try searching “Disclosure”+”Mr. Fingers.”
[One of the search results] Oh, Larry Heard (Mr. Fingers) did a remix of Disclosure.
Eli: Well how about that.
Dad: That’s his sound. It’s like coming full circle: He created that sound, Disclosure were influenced by it, and he remixes their songs that were influenced by him.
Eli is a teen so he obviously has Twitter. Follow him. We're not sure about his dad, though.