Naarm / Melbourne
Left reeling at the turn of the decade, Close Counters' explosion onto the live electronic scene in Melbourne was abruptly halted, leaving them in a uncertain and constant state of flow.
After a move across the Tasman Sea a few short years ago from Hobart, the duo had expanded and enlisted a full 7-piece setup with live-percussion, woodwind and stringed instruments joining the tour-de-force on stage which features dancers from their greater collective. Their most recent East Coast headline tour of Australia saw the team continue to sell out shows with an impressive 1,100 tickets across two shows at Melbourne’s infamous The Night Cat after gracing the Meredith Music Festival stage at midnight ahead of Liam Gallagher on the billing to which the amphitheater was left heaving and punters enthralled.
Their new collection of tunes stem from a government enforced 112 day lockdown in Victoria, with studio space traded in for online streamed sessions. A host of friends along the way also joined in various forms and the sense of community with their peers helped them overcome the challenging time, that has seen Close Counters create their most well-rounded piece of artistry, that further showcases their diverse soundscape at the crossroads of house, neo-soul, hip-hop and disco.
Creative prowess seeps through their music and into video clips and artwork, with Finn Rees as the driving force behind their new works’ artistic production and direction. Finn’s spill into animation and design work has included tastemaker labels Mr. Bongo, Nice Guy Records, a slew of Australian artists such as Sampology, 30/70, Surprise Chef, plus local festival Groovin’ the Moo; that the duo were set to play this year.
Aside from mixing all Close Counters’ works, Allan McConnell’s uncontainable creativity and passion for cinema and records sees him spend his time delving deep through old films or vinyl for samples and rare grooves; a process that saw his efforts feature in their heavily sample-based debut album ‘SOULACOASTA’. The full length audio-introduction paid homage to The Avalanches, whom the fellow Melbournians draw influences from. The title track was featured in Young Franco’s Kitsuné DJ Mix and the original can still be heard in Maison Kitsuné stores across the French capital.
Their new wave of live dance music has been featured multiple times on Indie Shuffle and their original works have been widely supported by tastemakers Giles Peterson, NME, Pilerats, EARMILK, The Sound You Need, Stoney Roads and radio crews at BBC Radio 6, triple j, Worldwide FM, KEXP Seattle, NTS and Balamii.
In 2019, ‘Refractions’ EP was released under The Kite String Tangle’s ‘Exist Recordings’ imprint and was well received from the triple j and unearthed team, with Executive Producer Tommy Faith noting that ‘Kaytra(nada) would be proud to call this an original’ on their single “HEY!!”.
With a knack for flow and re-inventing, the past 12 months has seen Close Counters remix the likes of Bag Raiders on their single “How Long” with Panama which was premiered by Phil Taggart on BBC Radio 1 and their flip of 30/70’s “Impermanace” earned a debut nod from Sampology on Worldwide FM to name a very select few supporters.
In a relatively short spanning career, Close Counters have swept crowds supporting Sofi Tucker, Confidence Man, Roland Tings, Tall Black Guy, showcasing to industry at BIGSOUND and EMC, ticked off bucket-list festivals Splendour In The Grass, Falls Festival, Strawberry Fields, MONA FOMA, Party in the Paddock, all the while collecting millions of streams and cementing their status as one of Australia’s hottest house and soul exports.