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  • Streaming + Download

    Pre-order of New Era. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    Purchasable with gift card
    releases February 10, 2023

      £5 GBP  or more

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    12" vinyl with reverse board sleeve designed by Joshua Hughes-Games

    Includes digital pre-order of New Era. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    digital album releases February 10, 2023
    item ships out on or around February 13, 2023

      £18 GBP or more 

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Reverse board sleeve 12" vinyl plus limited edition 12 page, B5, saddle stitch lyric booklet, colour Risograph printed using rice-bran and soy based inks on 120 & 170GSM recycled paper stocks supplied by Bristol paper mill Arboreta Papers.

    Designed by Joshua Hughes-Games
    Printed by 16 Tonne Press, Bristol

    Includes digital pre-order of New Era. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    digital album releases February 10, 2023
    item ships out on or around February 13, 2023

      £33 GBP or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Limited edition compact disc with reverse board sleeve designed by Joshua Hughes-Games

    Includes digital pre-order of New Era. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    digital album releases February 10, 2023
    item ships out on or around February 13, 2023
    edition of 50 

      £8 GBP or more 

     

  • Book/Magazine

    Limited edition 12 page, B5, saddle stitch lyric booklet, colour Risograph printed using rice-bran and soy based inks on 120 & 170GSM recycled paper stocks supplied by Bristol paper mill Arboreta Papers.

    Designed by Joshua Hughes-Games
    Printed by 16 Tonne Press, Bristol
    shipping out on or around February 13, 2023
    edition of 10  7 remaining

      £15 GBP or more 

     

1.
C90 Intro
2.
Polestar
3.
New Era
4.
Salm
5.
Reasons 04:52

about

Fresh from receiving a standing ovation for their incredible performance at the London Jazz Festival, part of their 5 date UK tour and following comeback single ‘The Rebuke’, Ishmael Ensemble return with EP ‘New Era’, a powerful statement of intent in collaboration with poet, MC and lyricist Rider Shafique.

Shafique’s talent for razor sharp lyricism, keen observation and beautifully woven imagery deliver probing prophetic visions across Ishmael Ensemble’s strikingly emotive soundscapes on this brilliant 5 tracker, weaving jazz, dub and other electronic influences with stunning effect.

Opening with ‘C90 Intro’, (a name which nods to the cassettes Cunningham used to make his DJ first mixtapes) to a backdrop of brooding ambient sonics Shafique introduces the EP in dub poet mode, setting the scene for the personal and political themes of the record: ‘life is a journey we all need to travel… as we navigate into a new age, a new era’.

Track two ‘Polestar’ leads us into more traditional jazz territory via a trip-hop verging beat and hypnotic sax. Mesmerising lyricism from Shafique and intermittent dubby vocal effects give the track a hypnotic dream-like quality.

EP centrepiece and title track ‘New Era’ sets out a hopeful vision for change and a call to arms for fresh thinking. Shafique’s vocal takes centre stage over a swirling instrumental that builds with creeping urgency, swarming with white noise and a near-spluttering bassline demonstrative of Ishmael Ensemble’s boundary-blurring approach to jazz.

‘Salm’ serves as a reflective coda to its predecessor - a haunting ambient soundscape with occasional spectral harps, over which the message of the EP is underlined with a cautionary aside ‘beware when you are fighting monsters, that you yourself do not become what you are fighting against’.

The EP closes with lead single, ‘Reasons’ a brilliantly realised culmination of all the themes and sonics present. Ishmael Ensemble returning to their jazzier incarnation, sax, harp and skippy rhythms propel us once again into reflection with Shafique inviting the listener to engage with the rhetorical ‘what’s the meaning of life?’, showcasing the combination of breathtaking musicianship and compelling lyricism that make this EP and collaboration so special.

‘New Era’ is an absorbing and thought-provoking piece that highlights Ishmael Ensemble’s talent for genre-shifting and taking the sonic conversation well beyond traditional jazz. Coupled with Rider Shafique’s mastery of words, it’s easy to see why audiences have literally been on their feet to praise all concerned at live shows and why 2023 is set to be their most thrilling year yet.

credits

releases February 10, 2023

Rider Shafique (Vocals), Pete Cunningham (Saxophone, Keys, Synths), Holysseus Fly (Piano, Backing Vocals), Stephen Mullins (Guitar), Jake Spurgeon (Modular Synth, Keys), Rory O’Gorman (Drums)

Harry Stoneham (Bass - Track 2), Chris Hillier (Additional Keys - Track 2) Bethany Stenning (Harp - Tracks 4&5), Alex Heane (Double Bass - Track 5)

Written by Ishmael Ensemble & Rider Shafique
Produced by Pete Cunningham
Engineered by Joshua Lear
Mixed by Ali Chant @ The Playpen, Bristol
Mastered by Shawn Joseph @ Optimum, Bristol
Sleeve design by Joshua Hughes-Games
Photography by Khali Ackford

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all rights reserved

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about

Ishmael Ensemble Bristol, UK

Bristol based collective led by saxophonist & producer Pete Cunningham.

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