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Helmed by producer and saxophonist Pete Cunningham, Ishmael Ensemble’s richly inventive 2019 debut A State Of Flow marked them out as an explosive new force in UK jazz, imbuing lush cinematic compositions with le-field dub and electronic sensibilities redolent of Bristol’s vital musical landscape. Named The Guardian’s ‘Contemporary Album Of The Month’ and MOJO’s ‘Jazz Album of The Month’, it saw the group perform Maida Vale sessions for both Gilles Peterson and Tom Ravenscro, as well as feature on compilations for Brownswood Recordings and Soul Jazz Records. Cunningham’s rise as an in-demand producer has led to remixes for the likes of techno royalty Carl Craig, as well as legendary jazz label Blue Note Records alongside a plethora of the UK’s finest musical talent on Blue Note Re:Imagined.
Ishmael Ensemble has since become a platform for Cunningham to subvert the conventional notions of producer/artist relationships, unsettling genre tags, and transcending the familiar landscape of UK jazz itself. Their new album Visions Of Light is brought to life on stage with Pete Cunningham on Sax & Electronics, Holysseus Fly on Vocals & Keys, Jake Spurgeon on Bass & Synthesizers, Stephens Mullins on Guitar & Rory O’Gorman on Drums.
“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’
“Ishmael Ensemble cleverly, psychedelically blur the lines”
MOJO – Jazz Album Of The Month
“A band seemingly capable of doing anything, yet remaining fleet footedly themselves throughout.”
“‘A State of Flow’ puts both the Ishmael Ensemble and their hometown firmly at the centre of the rapidly expanding British jazz map.”
“A deeply arresting sound from one of our favourite cities, simply beautiful”
6Music Mary Anne Hobbs
“Incredible independent music from Bristol. These guys just get better with every release”
6Music Gilles Peterson
London and Manchester based spoken word artist, writer and saxophonist Angus Fairbairn AKA Alabaster dePlume made his Lost Map debut with the release of the postcard single, 'Be Nice To People' in October 2017. The track is a peculiar, atmospheric, righteous and suitably intriguing introduction to Angus’s wonderfully uncategorisable output spanning the realms of performance poetry and folk and jazz music, described as “cheerfully uneasy” listening and “totally unique... very, very brilliant indeed” by BBC Radio 3’s Max Reinhardt.
New single, the mesmeric 'They Put The Stars Far Away', is released in March 2018 with an accompanying UK tour. Both tracks are taken from the forthcoming new album The Corner of a Sphere, which will arrive on Lost Map later in the year.
The Corner of a Sphere is Alabaster DePlume’s fourth album to date, following three successful self-releases on vinyl, CD and digital formats in collaboration with Manchester’s Debt Records. Angus has developed an audience in East London through a growing monthly development residency, PEACH at the Total Refreshment Centre, described by The Guardian as “one of the most thrilling performances I’ve seen this year; a reminder of how vital and adventurous music can be”, from which three recent live clips have been shared 870 times with views of more than 117,000. The show also enjoys notoriety in Manchester, Bristol and Edinburgh. Alabaster DePlume has elsewhere performed for BBC Radio 3, National Theatre and at clubs and theatres around UK. He occasionally moonlights as a saxophonist for artists including Liz Green, Honeyfeet and Lost Map’s own Rozi Plain.
'Alabaster DePlume is the first UK artist to sign to the great Chicago jazz label International Anthem, and though he usually utilises his voice as well, his first release for the label collects instrumental pieces that he has recorded over the past eight years. To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1 comes out February 28 via IA, and the first taste is the crackling “Whisky Story Time.”'
'Alabaster DePlume's To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Volume 1 was "Album of the Week" Saturday January 25th on Gilles Peterson's BBC 6 radio show; Gilles said: “In a world that is troubled and going through chrises of all sorts, I think [this] album is the perfect therapy for the planet right now.”'
BBC 6 Radio – Gilles Peterson show