Hot on the heels of a breakthrough year, Bristol based electronic jazz outfit Ishmael Ensemble hit the road for their first official U.K. tour.
2017 saw Ishmael Ensemble’s debut EP, Songs for Knotty, followed by a remix for Detroit techno demigod Carl Craig. These formative steps became a sprint in 2018, as a string of 7”s entitled Severn Songs began flowing out across the year. The Bristol-inspired records variously bridged fleet-footed jazz, lush downtempo, modulated electronica, Fourth World tones, and all manner of stirring sonic swells.
It’s no surprise the records caught the attention of tastemakers & DJs across the board, receiving regular radio play on BBC6Music, Jazz FM & Worldwide FM plus a performance on Gilles Peterson’s U.K. Jazz Special live from the legendary Maida Vale Studios. Tiptoeing between the current British jazz boom and Bristol’s rich musical ancestry, the group have found a truly unique and refreshing voice.
“Ishmael Ensemble are sometimes few, sometimes many, but always operate with the same questing spirit for innovation. Essentially rooted in jazz, the project’s outlook blends club culture, left field electronics, and much more into an unholy blend.” Clash Magazine
“These guys just get better with every release” Gilles Peterson
“Cunningham’s most ambitious project yet gives a nod to jazz that has come before, but approaches the genre in a forward-thinking manner” Music Is My Sanctuary
“Absolutely gorgeous” Tom Ravenscroft, BBC6 Music
“Beautiful music” Dan Snaith, Caribou
“Unfolds like a shimmering stone skipping across a lake. Gorgeous” XLR8R