Glasgow’s ambient improv unit
Cahill/Costello is the eponymous pairing of classical and contemporary guitarist Kevin Daniel Cahill and drummer Graham Costello. The Glasgow-based pair met back in 2012 at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and had collaborated on various projects, but it wasn’t until late 2019 that they came together and began making lush, free-form ambient music as an alliteratively-named duo.
Their first single, the seven-minute long ‘Io II’, came out
last year and is an excellent introduction to Cahill/Costello’s unique musical blueprint. The track is named after one of Jupiter’s moons and was the result of an improvised recording session. Within its gentle, hushed soundscape there are elements of experimental jazz, post-rock instrumentation, and handmade tape loop effects,
creating an ethereal and emotive terrain that does seem
out of this world.
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The pair’s debut album ‘Offworld’ certainly delivers on the promise we first glimpsed on ‘Io II’. A remarkably self-assured long-player full of dreamy electro-ambient textures, it was recorded at a studio in Sanna, Scotland, the most westerly point of mainland Britain. They spent a week in this remote location “living together, rehearsing, recording, and fishing” – a relaxing scene that filters into the minimal and calming nature of the album’s nine compositions. The title track creates deep sonic space through alluring drum flutters, barely-there tape crackles, and spidery guitar lines. The brief burst of drum rolls on ‘And It Was Not Meant That We Should Voyage Far’ is the duo at their most rousing, while the tender echo and yearning, mesmeric guitar of ‘Pavan II’ is the perfect incantation of Scotland’s windswept, secluded coastal vistas by two artists making a mark on the country’s contemporary music scene.
‘Offworld’ is out on Gearbox