Ishmael Ensemble

Electronica
© Sam Harries
© Sam Harries

Multi-instrumentalist and producer Pete Cunningham, aka Ishmael, sees himself as being on the fringes of UK jazz and electronic music. As a saxophonist, he leads the Ishmael Ensemble, which is named after his alias and released his debut album A State of Flow in 2019. The album features “experimental jazzwise electronica”, inspired by the Bristol sound and nu-jazz, in the form of stirring ambient tracks, smooth club grooves and swirling electro expanses, above which the soulful voices of various singers appear suspended. The blend of urban beats, jazzy idiom and trip-hop heritage almost inadvertently envelops the listener in a smoky after-hours atmosphere, out of which they are unlikely to find their way before the midday hour. Performing live with the band is singer Holly Wellington, aka Holysseus Fly, who provided otherworldly moments on the album.