Close/Far: What’s in a name?

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The Current Group: One of Close/Far's numerous experimental-music artists

The Current Group: One of Close/Far's numerous experimental-music artists

We’ve known about Close/Far Studio for some time now, thanks to its work with such acts as Someone Still Loves You Boris YeltsinThe Cropdusters, Ilijah, The Nova Heat and more. But studio spokesperson Jonathan James wrote to tell us of a different entity altogether sharing the same name. Close/Far is also the name of a collection of musicians, James included, originating in Springfield and now spreading out to St. Louis, Chicago and New York. 

Combined they form a sort of music-only art factory, recording together when they can and otherwise collaborating and critiquing. The results refuse to be typecast, incorporating elements of electro, ambient, rock, hip hop and more. Arguably the most recognizable group among the Close/Far “label/family” is The Current Group, a free-form spontaneous music experiment incorporating a small core of musicians and a revolving door of interested guest players assembling an improvised orchestra. The result is a kind of music stew, using a broth of ambient noise and tossing in whatever ingredients sound good at the time. Sometimes the music takes on a Godspeed You! Black Emperor feel, other times it becomes spoken word interspersed with horn blasts; regardless, it’s never the same sound twice.

If you want to check it out for yourself, all of the artists’ available material can be found on the Close/Far website for FREE digital download with an option to purchase physical copies of albums online for $10. James tells us that there are no shows currently scheduled to see the groups perform live; with all of the participating members so spread out, chances to get onstage together are few and far between. We’ll let you know when one comes, but in the meantime go listen to and enjoy musical art for art’s sake by clicking on these colored words.

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