‘Compassion Fatigue (1-8)’ came from an idea where the first song would be 1 minute long and in the key of A, the second song 2 minutes long and in the key of B etc…
LOUDER THAN WAR (UK)
I suspect that listening to the album as standalone tracks won’t work, but to be honest, you wouldn’t do anything else than listen to the whole glorious thirty six minutes in one sitting anyway.
Do yourself a favour and buy this album to witness on of the most intelligent, interesting and original concepts you will ever hear from a man who often borders on genius.
PENNY BLACK MUSIC
Visual artist/musician Ashley Reaks is one of the most innovative composer/arrangers around…...e explores polyrhythms, fuses grating and beautiful sonics and often whips up bizarre themes, which he peppers with vulgar street language. But if you’re up for soaring beyond the ordinary, Reaks takes you there.
THIS IS NOT A SCENE
A dense, almost Philip Glass/Steve Reich-like element underpins “Street Cleaning” which really opens up the arrangements allowing for extended, almost baroque passages of saxophone, and progressive rock keyboard. It is now that the compositional proficiencies begin to shine through. The lyrics are no more family friendly for all this however, as the message is conveyed with a comical yet uncompromising edge. “Joyless Joy” is a virtual kitchen sink drama, “…Joyless Joy, face like a Berlin Wall” over a spacious reggae/jazz background, which includes a hysterical saxophone solo last heard on Ian Dury’s “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”. With eight minutes to play with “Disconnected” comes in almost like an early Gong album,
THE CD CRITIC
This is brilliant experimental music, and the type one would love to hear more of.
ASTOUNDED BY SOUND
All delivered to a groovy faux world-music vibe. It puts me in mind of the atmosphere of Jah Wobble's equally barking and great Take Me To God album. There's some marvellous dirty sax in there, too.
Reaks and his assembled band coming across like a cross between a rogue-ish carnival huckster and a peak-striding artist in full Picasso strut…………….Yeah
, it was a gamble, but the fact is, Compassion Fatigue (1-8) is tour de force after tour de force, constantly doubling down and winning every hand. By virtue of its audacity, the authorial overdrive, the daring seeming trivial and vice versa, the work of Ashley Reaks here deserves to be heard as being in the same league with other adroit British and US wordsmith musicians of a certain stripe – Creme and Godley, Blegvad and Partridge, Martin Newhouse, Robyn Hitchcock, Elvis Costello, Robert Wyatt, Daevid Allen