Review: Ishmael Collective are a Bristol based 'experimental jazzwise electronica' collective led by saxophonist and producer Pete Cunningham. Their last release was championed by the likes of Dan Snaith, Antal and Gilles Peterson and the follow-up sees Cunningham slip into a nostalgic haze. Here, he throws back to his formative years in Bristol's late noughties scene. "Tunnels" is a hypnotic and psychedelic journey through the outer limits of modern jazz, while the glistening ambient textures of "First Light" on the B side sees the collective express yet more of their deft and charming musicality.
Review: This long promised debut album from Pete Cunningham's hybrid electronic/acoustic jazz collective, Ishmael Ensemble, has already received rave reviews. Listening back, it's easy to see why. The collective specializes in inventive, slow-burn epics that fuse the producer's dance music influences with more traditional jazz and seductive songs that recall the folksy bliss of the Minnie Riperton fronted Rotary Connection. They're capable of laying down bona-fide floor-rockers - see "Siren!" and the sweaty, bass-heavy swirl of "Lapwing" - but it's often the more considered and atmospheric pieces ("The Chapel", "Yellow House (feat Yama Warashi)" and the trumpet-driven brilliance of "The River") that leave the longest lasting impression. Either way, it's a superb debut album that's well worth a listen.