An Orchestra of Two

Straight out of Chicago

Cinchel and Akosuen, both based in Chicago, Illinois, have combined resources to for three tracks of majestic, tension-laden music. Two of the pieces are orchestral not just in aural scale — broad, spacious, enthralling — but in length, one at nearly 20 minutes, the other well over 16. The hallmark of this collection, titled simply Cinchel + Akosuen, is how strands at varying paces combine for simultaneous effect. “Sequest,” with which the set opens, has genteel piano against even more ethereal vocals, while guitar rages like some fiercely focused machine is rapidly scratching at electrified strings. At moments in “Tether,” the shortest piece here, six and a half minutes, it sounds as if a college radio DJ forgot to fade out a psychedelic folk record before potting up a metallic shoegaze hybrid. The result is brisk and commanding, and as long as the tracks are, you want to start them all over again when they’ve reached their natural close.

Cinchel is Jason Shanley (guitar, feedback, effects), Akosuen is Billie Howard (violin, piano, voice, synthesizers), and together (likely with more tools than listed here) they get blissfully lost in their airy frenzy, taking the listener aloft and along for the ride.

Album originally posted at More from the releasing label, Scripts Records, at More from the respective musicians at and

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