Sound Impression: Ammil by Ishmael Cormack


Ishmael Cormack is a British sound artist living in rural Somerset. His published body of work has grown significantly in the past year and focuses on what he describes as “gathering and weaving found sound with acoustics”. The quality and extent of that work is such that many followers of electroacoustic ambient music who would not have recognized Cormack’s name a year ago are now likely to find him worthy of categorizing as essential listening. After a series of self-released singles and EPs, he makes his label debut on Italy’s Krysalisound with Ammil, an album recorded at St Andrews Church in his home town, a Grade I listed building that dates from the 13th century.

“The catalyst of the project was a journey into the paradoxical nature of the natural world. Natures complex systems give rise to our perception of simplicity & beauty. Ammil attempts to mimic this understanding by creating complex rhythm that give birth to subtle melody…”

The album comprises six improvised sketches in which Cormack experiments with polyrhtyms using tape loops and a modest assortment of instruments, electronics, and found sounds with prominent use of acoustic & electric guitar. There is something viscerally organic in his work. It is richly sonorous, yet delicate in its construction with every fragment of sound perfectly weighted and separated to create a sense of balance and harmony.  Readers familiar with the work of Wil Bolton or 12k artists like Taylor Deupree and Marcus Fischer will be particularly at home with the work Cormack is doing here, but such familiarity is not required to fully enjoy this exceptional recording.

Links:  Bandcamp (CD/Digital)  |  Ishmael Cormack

Ammil is available now from Krysalisound in an attractive vinyl-effect CD edition as well as digital download. In addition to his excellent Bandcamp catalog, you may wish to follow his Soundcloud account as well to be treated to a steady flow of fresh sounds and ideas as well as his brand new release Maple Finch just out on Handstitched.