Exposé Online banner

Ashley Reaks — Compassion Fatigue (1-8)
((Not on label) no#, 2014, DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2014-07-15

Compassion Fatigue (1-8) Cover art

The motivations or plans an artist has when setting about recording an album are not always clear to the listener, and to some extent, not even important — it's the end result that is important. Ashley Reaks often refers to himself as a "collage artist," but this album doesn't really sound like collage, except for the wide variety of sounds used. The "concept" behind Compassion Fatigue (1-8) would probably not be apparent to the listener if it weren't spelled out. It starts out with a one minute track in the key of A, followed by a two minute track in B, a three minute track in C, and so on, up to an eight minute track in G. That's the "(1-8)" part of the title; the "compassion fatigue" part relates to the subject matter. Reaks' lyrics are often quite profane and even brutal, but they are delivered with a cheerful tunefulness that belies the harsh content. The general theme seems to be flagging willingness to treat the unpleasant reality of the world with a forgiving, attitude. Perverts, killers, rapists, and other representatives of civilization's dark side are exposed by bright light, with no punches pulled or nasty bits covered by black bars of censorship. Each track is quite distinct, some featuring female vocals, some with aggressive guitar, tablas, jazzy saxophone, and so on. Many feature rolling circular patterns that twist back upon themselves, skipping or adding beats here and there. The complexity of the music, both rhythmic and harmonic, puts it into the realm of progressive rock, but your enjoyment of the music will also be determined by your tolerance for obscene lyrics. Reaks certainly has a serious artistic intent behind those crude words, but this kind of "Piss Christ" art is not for everyone.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Ashley Reaks

More info
http://ashleyreaks.bandcamp.com/album/compassion-fatigue-1-8

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Thompson - 1000 Years of Popular Music – When the end of the millennium started creeping up, lots of people started making lists. When it comes to the subject of popular music, most of us are only familiar with that of the 20th Century, with...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues