Bristol experimental jazz collective Ishmael Ensemble debut their expansive new album Visions of Light. The follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2019 debut A State of Flow, garnered the band much deserve praise from the likes of The Guardian, Mojo, The Wire and select presenters across BBC 6Music.
Their sophomore record is a clear shift in direction with a focus on expanding what the group is already capable of: it’s a deeply moving and intricate sonic voyage centred around human relationships between artists, giving the audience a truly intimate invitation into their psychedelic world as artists, and as friends from Bristol that needed to evoke that more intimate sound.
“Wax Werk” is their single release ahead of the album, which is out on August 6th, and is proof that emotions, when it comes to collective songwriting, is the one of the major necessities when it comes to composing.
Pete Cunningham doesn’t hold back to showcase his own voice as producer and arranger, creating heavy vibes and insanely jazz infused drum programming to be backed with a frenetic saxophone solo.
The addition of Holysseus Fly on vocals is just perfect as the track initially takes a softer, more angelic approach. You’re than taken on a wild drum and bass, garage punk journey with Rory O’ Gorman together with Stephen Mullins on electric guitar, and Jake Spurgeon, on modular synth and Moog Minotaur entwining their own powerhouse performances. The track almost feels like a wax figurine, slowly burning, leaving nothing but an imagined sense of its original form.
If this is anything to go by, you’re in for a wild ride with this one. Check out “Wax Werk” from Ishmael Ensemble below, and if you dig it, pre-order their album, Visions Of Light, here