Boomkat Product Review:
Another addition to Drag City’s curious collection of ‘outsider’ folk records (sitting neatly alongside Gary Higgins in your collection), Ed Askew is an artist I haven’t come across before. After his debut for ESP in 1968, his second album ‘Little Eyes’ was recorded in 1970, but somehow never got past test pressing stage, and as so many records of this era did, was lost for decades. After the 70s Askew seemed to sink into obscurity, but in the early 80s he got his hands on a harpsichord, a tiple (a sort of latin banjo) and a 2-track recorder and recorded ‘Imperfection’ which was released on cassette in incredibly small quantities. Now on vinyl for the first time it is wonderful to hear these deliriously lo-fi songs, somewhere between the cracked Beatles-esque pop of Daniel Johnston and the hallowed blues of Bill Callahan. Even now with bands spending countless hours trying to recapture the tape-dubbed sound of the 80s, it’s rare to hear an album with the kind of hissing, tape-saturated beauty of the aptly titled ‘Imperfection’. This is music that comes to life in the analogue realm, and the little hiccups, pops and wheezes simple add another dimension to Askew’s strange tales. Gorgeous music.