Sunday, December 16, 2007

Close (India) - Mouse Party

Hear The Track Here

There are only three tracks on Close (India)'s Soundclick site, and I've now reviewed all of them in the space of as many months. Out of the preceeding two, Always Winter (October 2007) and Ghost Desert (November 2007) both have Must Have status in my household. Matter of fact, I'll go a tad further; along with fellow Indian musician Sumit, Close (India) are among my own favourite finds this year. Admittedly that is largely because of my own world music leanings but there's no smoke without fire. The main reason I like them though is because they are seriously good, seasoned musicians who know what they are doing.

Close (India) are two musicians, Abhishek and Bhushan, but they certainly sound like a lot more people, as a quick listen to any of their three tracks will amply show. It is by now globally evident that Bollywood is very much a force in Indian music and although Close come from Bollywood Central (Ed: Mumbai, actually) I can't say I've spotted any undue Bollywood influence. Not what the band are about. From where I sit with three of their tracks under my critical belt, I'd say they were busily subverting their own musical culture AND western music to their own ends. And what beautiful ends they are too. There really aren't that many artists around who truly deserve the title of unique but Close (India) are about as close as I can get to it.

If I thought that any of the other tracks were unique - and they were in their own way - then Mice Party takes it all one step further and is probably the most ethnic sounding of all their tracks. So it's a given that some of their phrasings will sound discordant to (some) western ears, but only in the same way (say) as some experimental music does. Mice Party could well be a shoo-in for the experimental genre as it happens, its certainly very adventurous. The star turn this time is taken up by the violin work of Abhinav Shankar. Although he appears on the other tracks, his work isn't as prominent as it is on this track. My only quibble is that at two minutes and change, I have to have it perennial loop to really enjoy it.

Startlingly different. World Music in the truest sense. Highly Recommended/MUST HAVE for fans.

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