Hype is an interesting thing. I’m engaged in a never ending battle with it where my allegiance is always shifting. So much of the music industry is based on hype and my gut reaction is to give whatever is receiving too much attention a quick eye roll and go on with my day. I still haven’t listened to the Daft Punk album because I’ve been patiently waiting for the fanfare to die off. I still jam the Disclosure album because I was a fan before its release and the final product didn’t disappoint.
The reason I’m quick to ignore one and foam at the mouth for the other is where the hype stems from. If it’s audience-generated instead of spoonfed from a machine (or robots) I’m apt to pay closer attention. The most common criticism I hear of Disclosure is they’re “over-hyped”, but when almost every house DJ I know thinks they’re the jam, I say it’s not hype at all. It’s just excitement. As long as it’s genuine and earned on merit, it’s all good.
So here we have another duo whose rise in underground house has been unusually swift: Detroit Swindle. They’ve earned it. Their time in house music may have just begun, but I’m convinced their success (like Disclosure) is in part because of the well-formed musical influences and abilities they brought to the table straight out of the gate. It’s definitely why they have a knack for turning heads with tracks that are stripped down to the bare essentials.
A debut album after a string of successful EPs can yield high expectations. So long as you haven’t overhyped Boxed Out in your mind you’ll be thoroughly pleased. It’s bookended very nicely. “B.Y.O.” eases into things with that smooth moody soul that I think Detroit Swindle is so great at. All of the tracks that hit the mid-tempo vibe do it just right, from “Monkey Wrench” to “Me, Myself & You”. “64 Ways” featuring Mayer Hawthorne for me is one of the gems on the album. While they have some good heavy hitters for the club, I also really enjoyed the prettier tracks like “F6” and “Shotgun”. Your average non-DJ listener might lose interest after 5 tracks, but I still bet you’ll get asked for a track ID if you drop some of these in a set. Now kick back and wait for the remixes.