New Year, After the Break (MP3)

Dense shimmer from Chicago's Cinchel

It’s arguable that the first week of the new year is best spent as yet another week in an ongoing sequence of weeks. Better that than an attempt to plan for a year of unfettered expectation, or as a means to somehow make up for the previous. But the holiday break in particular makes it difficult not to feel like the simple change of one digit at the end of a four-digit number is significant. As 2012 becomes 2013, most of us come back from some sort of break, and we find ourselves doing things for the first time in some time — cooking, writing, cleaning, going back to work, seeing friends after time with family, and on. The first-ness is a heady thing, especially for creative acts. The tools have gathered dust, and the muscles are less limber. At the same time, distance frees us of old habits, if only for a moment. Cinchel, who’s based in Chicago, Illinois, has posted what he calls his “first setup of the new year.” It’s a four-plus-minute expanse of dense shimmer, committed to tape on his guitar with a host of effects. It’s a slo-motion rager, packed with intense, glistening chords and tremulous, syncopated reverberations.

Track posted for download at More on Cinchel at

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