Hear The Track HereClose (India) come from, surprisingly enough, India. This obviously comes about because there are probably gazillions of bands called Close and well, you have to come from somewhere, innit? For regular readers of these reviews (Hi Mom!) you will no boubt be aware of how my ears pricked up when I discovered where they came from. After all, the past three, four years has produced some absolute top quality Indian artists and there is always room for more in my books. Seems like all the really excellent musicians I have heard are centered around Bollywood Central (that's Mumbai to youse eddukated ones) as are Close (India). No doubt there is a lot of inspiration there but how does that transcend into unsigned/indie musicians? Welp try Omnisine, or Prash for starters. If they ain't world class then I obviously know nozzing....
Close (India) - gonna stop that now because we all know where they come from - are a duo; Abhishek who provides the music and Bhushan who supplies beats and percussion. Like a lot of Mumbai musicians they have some fairly hefty western music roots, despite their location, which can only come from an immersion in the subject. Unlike a lot of musicians, Close haven't turned their back on their own musical roots and - in the process - come up with something that really is a fascinating blend of East and West. The really wonderful part of the track, for me anyway, is the fact that the lead lines of this delicate arrangement are taken up by the violin. Now I love the sound of one violin played well, and I particularly love the sound that Indian violinists effortlessly achieve so I am a sucker for this from note one.
Above everything else, all genre talk aside, Always Winter is that elusive beast - a good instrumental. The combination of instruments and the inflections put on them make this rise above anything you can pin down and label. Now obviously I am not an innocent bystander in all this because I have a marked preference for artists of this calibre. I'm also a hard bitten sob when it comes to something being right or not. I wouldn't even like to judge who would like this or who wouldn't but there would be no denying the absolute beauty and sheer production nous that's required to put something this tasty together. Up until this point, I had never heard of Close but you can bet your last rupee that I'm going to watching what they get up to next. A splendid introduction to a new artist and you can't say fairer than that.
MUST HAVE (and I can't say fairer than that)