New Release: Cahill//Costello release debut album, ‘Offworld’

Cahill//Costello – Photo Credit: Bernadette Kellermann

Cahill//Costello, an ambient duo from Glasgow, Scotland, released their debut album Offworld earlier this month via Gearbox Records Fusing elements of minimalism and improvisational music they create a shared, highly emotive sound world, without regard for over-complication or unnecessary tangents. Cahill//Costello consists of classically trained guitarist Kevin Daniel Cahill, hailed for his passionate and distinct post-modern performances, and drummer/ composer Graham Costello, who has previously been nominated for Scottish Album of the Year, as well as seven Scottish Jazz Awards.

Cahill//Costello – Offworld artwork

Following the conceptual idea of everything happening strictly within the moment, they adopt an “analogue” approach to their composition and performance. This approach is evident in their live performances, extended ambient improvisations and aleatoric use of tape loops and soundscapes. The music-making is grounded in patience and clarity, an honest appeal to the heart of the listener. 

Offworld was recorded during August 2020 on location in Sanna, Ardnamurchan, located in the most westerly point of the British mainland, within the Scottish highlands. Over the course of a week, the duo lived, rehearsed, and recorded together in the remote area of Sanna and would produce what would become their debut album. During the course of the recording sessions, the duo’s intent was to combine their different musical languages and backgrounds – they met whilst studying classical (Kevin) and jazz (Graham) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland -through a shared appreciation of minimalism. The entire album was treated as a ‘live session in an attempt to capture the spontaneity and improvised nature of the session and the immersive Scottish landscape.

Sanna Bheag is a house which was built in 1927 by M.E.M Donaldson, an English author, and ethnographer, who was one of the first and only artists to document the rich and ancient Scottish culture of this community before it was changed forever by the second world war. Like the Celtic Bard before her, she immortalised a culture and way of life through her chosen mediums of writing and photography. Sanna is an honest reflection of the natural progression of music and art; it is constantly adapting and improvising with the consistent change in economical and cultural shifts as well as being a significant landmark of Scottish culture. These attributes directly link to the duo’s artistic intent, proving Sanna to be the perfect location to chronicle their own contemporary bardic and ethnographic interpretation of modern-day Scotland and its cultural and artistic evolution.

Offworld – Cahill//Costello

Founded in 2009, Gearbox Records is a vinyl-led label specialising in previously unreleased heritage jazz cuts, as well as contemporary artists from the jazz, folk and electronica genres. Recent output includes legendary South African composer Abdullah Ibrahim, award-winning London jazz duo Binker and Moses, inimitable tubist Theon Cross, Indian percussionist and tabla player Sarathy Korwar, psychedelic, lo-fi soul composer Bastien Keb, Japanese ambient musician ChiheiHatekayama and American jazz and funk five-piece Butcher Brown.

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