15 Songs, 59 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Even Calvin Harris might not recognize the Calvin Harris of this debut; the Scottish DJ bears little resemblance here to the EDM superstar he became. Rather, I Created Disco is the work of an artist in the mold of LCD Soundsystem: ragged, cheeky, and deceptively lo-fi. More akin to Devo than Diplo, the album is a beautiful mess of analog beats and vintage synths. "Colours" features a cheeky Harris singing over an 8-bit disco groove, while "Love Souvenir" is a chirping experimental slow jam. Disco's willful tackiness is part of its charm, as in the macho braggadocio and roller-rink beats of "The Girls." Harris' artistry is in evidence, but the signature EDM sound of songs like "Feel So Close" had yet to coalesce.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Even Calvin Harris might not recognize the Calvin Harris of this debut; the Scottish DJ bears little resemblance here to the EDM superstar he became. Rather, I Created Disco is the work of an artist in the mold of LCD Soundsystem: ragged, cheeky, and deceptively lo-fi. More akin to Devo than Diplo, the album is a beautiful mess of analog beats and vintage synths. "Colours" features a cheeky Harris singing over an 8-bit disco groove, while "Love Souvenir" is a chirping experimental slow jam. Disco's willful tackiness is part of its charm, as in the macho braggadocio and roller-rink beats of "The Girls." Harris' artistry is in evidence, but the signature EDM sound of songs like "Feel So Close" had yet to coalesce.

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About Calvin Harris

Talk about an unexpected career trajectory. In 2007, 23-year-old Calvin Harris released I Created Disco, a cheeky shot across dance music’s bow that presented him as Scotland’s brow-arched answer to LCD Soundsystem. Fast-forward a few years, and the scruffy fellow playing house-party host in the “Merrymaking at My Place” video is suddenly baring oil-slicked abs on Calvin Klein billboards. What happened, of course, is that Harris (born Adam Richard Wiles in 1984) traded up from the Amiga computer of his teens, developed some of the best studio chops in the business with deep-house rollers like 2013's “Thinking About You,” and helped spark EDM’s pop crossover with hits for Rihanna, Florence Welch, Ellie Goulding, and others. Along the way, he became one of the 2010s’ first DJ/producer/songwriter polymaths to earn top billing even on the songs in which he didn’t sing. No stranger to pyro-lit main stages—his percussive, synth-strafed 2014 single “C.U.B.A.” is big-room house at its most gargantuan—Harris has resisted getting boxed into any one sound. On 2017’s Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, he lays down a set of slinky R&B jams for Frank Ocean, Migos, and Young Thug, while the 2018 singles “Promises,” with Sam Smith, and “One Kiss,” with Dua Lipa, proved just how versatile his vision of pop can be.

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