The Bristol-based collective are an explosive new force in the UK jazz scene. Led by producer and saxophonist Pete Cunningham, the group broadly experiments within the realms of jazz and electronics but boasts a diverse range of influences in defining its sound.
The innovative 2019 debut A State of Flow marked them out as ones-to-watch with its unique energy and adventurous exploration of Bristol’s musical heritage: at times minimal and cosmic, at others club-oriented, and always unpredictable. Their recent involvement in the Blue Note Re:imagined project alongside contemporary trailblazers such as Ezra Collective and Nubya Garcia solidified their status as a powerful new presence in the scene.
As the UK’s jazz renaissance continues to flourish – with BBC 6 Music tastemakers and the music press giving regular airplay to an exciting new generation of talent – Ishmael Ensemble are an exciting proposition as they continue to push boundaries and unsettle genre tags.
Music that’s pitched somewhere between astral jazz, burbling electronica, trippy minimalism, psychedelic dub and 20 years of club culture.The Guardian (Contemporary album of the month)