Q&A with Close Counters: Beatsmiths Extraordinaire

There’s no shortage of acts that cite Flying Lotus, Disclosure, and Kaytranada as key influences on their sound, but most don’t pull anything together that measures up. Close Counters, an electronic duo from Tasmania, shatters the mold. Their flip of Technotronic’s classic, “Pump Up The Jam” is second to none.

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With a sound this shiny, I had to learn what makes these guys tick. Despite a tour schedule in Europe, they slipped in a few minutes to answer a couple of the questions burning a hole in my pocket.

MC: How did you settle on the name Close Counters?

CC: It really appeared at the end of an exhaustingly long list of names, several of which were inspired by space related stuff – we’ve never actually seen the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

MC: For those of us not familiar with Tasmanian life, what’s the music scene like?

CC: The Tasmanian scene is quite small but very well connected. There are only a couple of acts that perform and write live electronic music. However, the advantage of having so few local acts means we have been able to support some incredible artists when they tour to Tasmania, including The Kite String Tangle, Tkay Maidza and even the pop singer Shaggy.

MC: I absolutely love the song selection of “Pump Up The Jam.” What did that song mean to you as an original? How has remixing it changed its meaning for you?

CC: We became very familiar with the original whilst working as DJs in local clubs that play more throw-back pop smashers. After finding the acapella we had a little fun re-harmonising the chords under the melody and crafting a new beat.

MC: If you could co-write a song with anyone, who would it be? What would the song be called?

CC: Los Angeles bassist and producer, Thundercat. We usually name our songs once they’re finished so it’s too hard to say!

MC: What’s next for Close Counters?

CC: At the moment we’re travelling through Europe and working on a 5 track EP. This will feature our latest single, Picture Me. We’re also working on a couple remixes that we’ll put up for free download on our Soundcloud.