Friday, August 3rd, 2018

Disclosure ft. Fatoumata Diawara – Ultimatum

British electronic duo get a leg up from Mali…


Will Rivitz: Disclosure continues their trend away from the percussive, poppy house music they perfected on Settle towards the more chordally fleshed-out Boiler Room fare they’ve pursued more frequently since Caracal, their sophomore slump. However, though tracks like “Holding On” and “Omen” lacked the addictive punch of the best of Settle, they were still pleasant enough, and “Ultimatum” is more of the same. Velveteen, immersive, floating, and more than a little insubstantial, it’s not quite the return to form I would have hoped from one of my favorite artists, but it’s nice nonetheless.

Julian Axelrod: The brothers Lawrence provide their usual skittering H&M-core synth step, but the real story is Fatoumata Diawara’s exultant vocals. I’m torn: On one hand, this is one of the most engrossing Disclosure-adjacent vocal performances since Lorde on “Magnets.” On the other, there’s more than a whiff of appropriation here. Maybe Guy and Howard just got into Sun-El Musician, or maybe their next album will be Graceland for the Sahara tent crowd. The song has no time for such semantics; it just keeps moving, leaving any worries in its wake.

Thomas Inskeep: Lovely, deep house with vocals from Malian singer Diawara: kind of trance-like, and definitely movin’, akin to the best Chic records (though not near them, mind). 

Alfred Soto: I’m a sucker for this brand of kinetic anonymity, not that Fatoumata Diawara fades into the background. When the keyboards disappear, the Malian singer does her best to forget they were ever there.

Anna Suiter: For the longest time, the only song I thought of when I thought of Disclosure was “Latch,” and just assumed that they didn’t do much else. But it’s been a long time since “Latch,” and “Ultimatum” is nothing like it. In this case that’s a good thing, though, and Ultimatum comes together as a song that sounds “global” without being kitschy or seeming overly fetishistic. Diawara’s vocals fit well as an “instrument” over the track, but the lyrics (a demand for the truth) act as a contrast to the jazzy production. But either way, Disclosure are back, and maybe it’s time for me to backtrack too.

Ashley John: The sample is doing most of the work here, and actually that’s where Disclosure tends to shine. Fatoumata Diawara’s voice is bright and bouncy but with a range that keeps your brain from checking out. 

Tim de Reuse: Rambling, dense, crunchy, full of lovely texture and tasteful 303s; best appreciated as something that hangs in the air for five minutes, rotating slowly through all its different permutations, never really going anywhere because it doesn’t really need to.

Katherine St Asaph: Tasteful Disclosure is the Disclosure that survives — which is still better than another “Bang That,” another goddamn Sam Smith track, or probably something with Anne-Marie.

Ramzi Awn: “Ultimatum” seamlessly blends open space with a tight hook. Diawara allows the keyboard to take center stage when it needs to, and the track is practically begging for a dance floor peppered with neon lights. If it’s a decision she wants, then it’s a decision she’s going to get: I’m going dancing.  

Reader average: [7] (1 vote)

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One Response to “Disclosure ft. Fatoumata Diawara – Ultimatum”

  1. this one’s really grown on me