“Incredible independent music from Bristol. These guys just get better with every release”
“A deeply arresting sound from one of our favourite cities, simply beautiful”
Mary Anne Hobbs
“Making music that’s pitched somewhere between astral jazz, burbling electronica, trippy minimalism, psychedelic dub and 20 years of club culture.” Contemporary album of the month
“A band seemingly capable of doing anything, yet remaining fleet footedly themselves throughout.”
Helmed by producer and saxophonist Pete Cunningham, Ishmael Ensemble’s richly inventive 2019 debut A State Of Flow marked them out as an explosive new force in UK jazz, imbuing lush cinematic compositions with left-field dub and electronic sensibilities redolent of Bristol’s vital musical landscape. Named The Guardian’s ‘Contemporary Album Of The Month’ and MOJO’s ‘Jazz Album of The Month’, it saw the group perform Maida Vale sessions for both Gilles Peterson and Tom Ravenscroft, as well as feature on compilations for Brownswood Recordings and Soul Jazz Records. Cunningham’s rise as an in-demand producer has led to remixes for the likes of techno royalty Carl Craig, as well as legendary jazz label Blue Note Records alongside a plethora of the UK’s finest musical talent on Blue Note Re:Imagined.
Ishmael Ensemble has since become a platform for Cunningham to subvert the conventional notions of producer/artist relationships, unsettling genre tags, and transcending the familiar landscape of UK jazz itself.