Emerging from the Bristol hiphop and jazz scenes, Phantom Ensemble combine live instrumentation from some of the city’s finest musicians with sample-based breaks reminiscent of hiphop’s golden era.
Born in 2018 from a one-off live collaboration between producer Simiah, sax player Craig Crofton and Dan Somers on keys, the mix of improvised jazz and live MPC beats blew up at Bristol’s Galimaufry, leading to a monthly residency. The trio quickly got down to recording their debut album Connections, released early in 2019.
Featuring a string of guest musicians from the Bristol jazz scene, the residency has seen Phantom Ensemble experiment with new material and expand the band to include Harriet Riley on vibraphone and percussion and Chalky White on guitar, their sound growing to encompass free-form improvisation, crafted compositions and ambient jams, with a classic hiphop backbone.
Phantom Ensemble’s album Connections was released on King Underground Records on 15 February.