This song is so chill it’s like when you step outside for a smoke at night without a jacket on, but it's the early days of fall and you weren’t expecting the air to be so crisp and it singes your skin and you have to run inside and throw a sweatshirt on and now can’t stop shivering no matter what you do to try to warm yourself up. “Close,” with its light piano flutters, future-bass breaks and underpinning emotional tension is something special for OTR, the “25-year old aerospace engineer-turned-producer.” Hopefully this gorgeous collaboration with singer Kai Straw, belting out the pain of loneliness and longing for human touch, will help to warm that frozen soul of yours back up just a little bit. Sit by the fire and play it one more time.



This magic all started when the producer found himself living alone in a small Japanese town with no friends near and a language barrier, writing songs with a small keyboard he’d purchased to pass the time on his train rides to bigger cities. Even though OTR is back in America, living in Cincinnati’s “Over-the-Rhine” district, or “OTR” to be exact, his music still carries the same weight of somber autobiographic isolationism that it did when he was writing it in Kurashiki. I’ve never been more grateful for one man’s loneliness in my entire life.

Kai Straw’s soulful, weathered voice is the perfect compliment to OTR’s vibey sound. It reminds me a bit of those early Chet Faker / Flume collaborations where a voice and a producer gel so well that they are both clearly destined to be the biggest things in music since the Beatles first tried sliced bread and were like “fuck the Rolling Stones.” OTR + Kai Straw 2020.


From deep within the murky depths of the Los Angeles River emerged a creature: 50% raver, 50% comedian, 10% Robotcop. Kurt Kroeber doesn’t own a dog, operates Soundbleed (the world’s only dance party comedy talk show rave), and is down to party with you. Come up some time and say “Hey dude!” But definitely make sure to casually drop the secret Illuminati password.