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Bristol electronic jazz collective Ishmael Ensemble have announced their collaborative EP, 'New Era' with MC Rider Shafique and share lead single, 'Reasons'.

Fresh from their celebrated UK tour, featuring a stand-out performance at London Jazz Festival, Ishmael Ensemble return with ‘Reasons’ the lead single from their forthcoming EP ‘New Era’, a collaborative project with lyricist and MC Rider Shafique. Having previously collaborated on 2022’s ‘Empty Hands’, Ishmael Ensemble and Shafique take this partnership to new levels with the compelling and absorbing ‘Reasons’. Ishmael Ensemble provides typical jazz brilliance via signature sax, harp and skippy rhythms, propelling Shafique’s masterful lyricism and thought-provoking rhetoric. In dub poet mode he probes ‘what’s the meaning of life?’, giving a powerful taste of the personal and political reflections that appear throughout the excellent forthcoming EP. ‘Reasons’ showcases the combined musicianship that makes this such a special collaboration, kicking off what is set to be an incredible year for both artists. Ishmael Ensemble’s Pete Cunningham says:

“I first came across Rider Shafique about 6 years ago after I heard his piece “I-Dentity” via Bristol’s Young Echo collective & was immediately struck by his powerful way with words. A true master of his craft. This record was an opportunity to lean into the more bass-heavy side of my music taste. I’ve always been a massive fan of dub in all its forms & producers like King Tubby, Adrian Sherwood & Pinch have been a constant source of inspiration over the years. This sound palette coupled with a voice like Rider’s is something I’ve always wanted to make so I’m super happy with what we’ve produced here.”
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