Last week, Ishmael Ensemble - the live electronics/jazz collective spearheaded by Pete Cunningham - released Severn Songs 2, the second instalment in a 7" trilogy inspired by Bristol and the River Severn. The band members have been playing together since school, and you can hear that in their tight dynamics. As a group they've put stuff out on Banoffee Pies and their own Severn Songs imprint, while multi-instrumentalist Cunningham has also released solo as Ishmael via labels including Church and Wolf Music.
Their Influences selections have informed the way each individual plays in the band and the nature of their contributions to the ensemble as a whole. From James Holden and Nils Frahm to Pavement and Radiohead, dig in below.
Tracks chosen by:
Pete Cunningham: Saxophone & Production
Jake Spurgeon: Keys & Modular Synth
Stephen Mullins: Guitar
Rory O'Gorman: Drums
Mette Henrietee - O
Pete: I first came across Mette's work when she joined Shabaka Hutchings on a Gilles Peterson session a few years ago. I was instantly struck by the fragility and delicate nature of her tone, often subsumed in breath and the mechanical sounds of the saxophone itself. When you do get a fully formed note, it's like a glimmer of light shining through the storm cloud. This whole album is gorgeous and has often come as a timely reminder that "less is more" when working on stuff for the ensemble.