Release Date: Jun 11, 2013
Record label: !K7
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Club/Dance, Indie Electronic, Progressive House
Will Saul's Close project generated buzz last year in an increasingly common way: by presenting itself as the work of an anonymous producer. What made the project stand out was that its subterfuge wasn't some overcompressed YouTube dump but a finely tailored media project with an elegant (and slightly racy) website, intriguing track snippets, and remixes of name artists like Scuba and Little Dragon. Whoever was behind Close had resources and friends.
Besides being the driving force behind the U.K. dance music labels Simple and Aus, producer Will Saul has released a slamming set of progressive house 12"s under his own name. Most of his 12" work is dark, sleek, Deep Dish-esque, with a bit of Mathew Jonson-y techno as well, but this Saul project called Close is often serene, mostly sumptuous, and sometimes even song-like, with various vocalists helping to make this something akin to a post-dubstep Portishead.
While there once might have been shame in underground artists cuddling up to the mainstream, the border between the two seems to be vanishing in 2013, not least with the advent of artists like Disclosure. CLOSE's first single, the Scuba-assisted vocal cut "Beam Me Up," is a commercially viable slam-dunk in the vein of that young UK duo. It works in the club, sure, but its appeal unmistakably lies with its chorus, which has a way of getting stuck in your head for days on end.The man behind this particular alchemy is Will Saul, a UK producer who's using the name CLOSE for his most unashamedly accessible music.
Will Saul has benefitted hugely from the UK’s recent turn to house music. His label Simple was a source of solid, if not always stunning, house throughout the noughties. But as the decade wore on, it seemed like Saul might find himself, like so many before him, the victim of changing tastes. Fortunately, he found a new lease of life through the generation of artists that emerged in the wake of dubstep and, largely through Simple’s sister label Aus, has ended up presiding over that scene’s steady migration into relatively straightforward house and techno.