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Before Koresh

by Ashley Reaks

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    CD album with original art and lyrics printed in booklet

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I didn’t have a sin to confess wasn’t sucking off-milk off the wrong breast more than happy drowning in my own mess didn’t have a lower soul that I should detest Monged out but strangely content to sleep away my weeks in my sick bed Wired on weed and wine and my psych meds in the last days of freedom before the rot set in Yes sir, no sir three bags full sir! Psychic rapist! Psychological terrorist! Psychopath and a sadist! Psychobabbling bullshit!
The Dustman 03:02
Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey chim chim cher-oo When the shades of night are falling and the lights go down The Dustman comes a-crawling on the edge of Gutter Town He throws dust in the eyes of all the babies that he meets No matter where he finds them, in the house or in the streets The babies think The Dustman is as mean as he can be He shuts their eyes at night-time just the time they want to see
Wear-Wear-Wearside-Wearside-Wearside Wear-Wear-Wearside-Wear-Wearside ‘I’m Jack but Lord I was disturbed there’s plenty of them knocking about they never learn do they George Jack the Ripper I’m Jack’ Tripping out to hymns on the radio chest-bone clicking in the clinical echo stains on the carpets dog-ends in the sink coma afternoon getting for the drink W-E-A-R-S-I-D-E His mam she always said he was emotionally unwell a joker and a hoaxer and he’s on his way to hell stumbling down a road signposted death and dereliction the highlight of his day’s picking up his methadone prescription Wear-Wear-Wearside-Wearside-Wearside Wear-Wear-Wearside-Wear-Wearside Daddy made his brain jerk Mummy made his heart hurt Daddy made his brain jerk (Daddy made him cry) Mummy made his heart hurt (Mummy made him want to die) W-E-A-R-S-I-D-E Wear-Wear-Wearside-Wearside-Wearside Wear-Wear-Wearside-Wear-Wearside ‘I’m Jack’
Bump into a girl I used to go to school with in town, she used to be called JXXXX- let's call her Crystal now. When we see each other we raise our eyebrows to say, Hi, and after the initial shock of recognition we carry on walking by, and it's funny because at school we would always flirt, and she was one of the first girls to lift up her shirt so I could grope her tits, a most welcome development at thirteen, but then we split, and she started seeing kids who were a lot older - because they appeared to be bolder, and could get hold of good grass, and soon after that she was stoned out of her box in every class, and she'd stay up all night munching acid and E's, then go to school the next day and snort speed before PE. I didn't see her that much after we left, but I heard she got up the duff, something I didn't quite expect, and then no sighting for years until I saw her in town the other day, when it took all of my effort to not look away, because she's not yet thirty and her hair's gone grey, and her eyes resemble whirlpools made out of clay, then there's the deep lines like ruts around a down-turned mouth that stays shut, but still speaks of time spent committing crime to feed her habit - see something unguarded, and you can bet she'll just fuckin' grab it and make a run for the door and not look back; might be the only chance she'll get to score some crack this week - I can tell by the state of her face she's a total rock freak, nothing more than a a walking tomb - her brain's receiving e-mails from the Lost Plant Doom, so make some room for her as she walks past, she's living each day as though it's her last, the weight of the world resting on her brow, her life's like the old bus station - torn down, a symbol of things changing and how - she used to be called JXXXX - let's call her Crystal now.
She’s here with me now her eyebrows bare and her breasts aglow we fuse together like the shock of electricity as the overcast night spreads its darkness over the factory and the turgid petals wither and fade Oh! those pouting lips that honeyed meat dripping down her fount her perfumed hips those musky tendrils that cat-like hole with soft hooded bud hitched up close’ Stressed out burned out living off hand-outs user abuser a pitiful waste jumped on stamped on not a leg to stand on thank you so much for spitting in my face Hunted affronted emotionally stunted spaced out chased out buried in the ground queasy uneasy I'm hyper-diseasy everybody join in kick me when I'm down
Mr Barton has fixed a hook adjacent to his back door on which he hangs the fully loaded super soaker he uses to dissuade cats from fouling his borders He’s also been shooting squirrels with an air rifle I’ve counted seven dead in his back garden in the last few days When I asked him about it earlier in the week he claimed they’d all died of old age but yesterday he admitted to having shot them He said ‘They don’t understand death like we do’ and he made a fist with his right hand and beat his chest above his heart ‘We’re the only ones who know we’re going to die’
Inch Perfect 02:28
Make my move when they're looking dog rough, my own life is just too tough, I'm just not earning enough so I need to get a celebrity up the duff. I want to get a celebrity pregnant. I need a passport to another life, going to make a C-lister my wife. hang around in trendy bars, get her to buy a few flash cars for me, we'll get our own reality show on ITV3, I'll be as common as I can be, but I'll let her family know I'm not just after her money because we're in so in love, don't y'see? I want to get a celebrity pregnant. I've heard she wants a 'down to earth bloke', I'll help her snort mountains of coke, keep her in the papers by fucking around, take her to the Priory when she feels down, knock her up as soon as I can, involve her in a project which will disappoint her fans, I want to get a celebrity pregnant. She can see I'm sincere, jump on the downward slide of her career, bask in the faint glow of reflected glory, sell Heat magazine our story after we split, have a public custody battle for the kids, leak online our homemade sex-vids sit back and watch as they get a million hits, have a court appearance to see who's entitled to the profits. I want to get a celebrity pregnant. Beg her for a second chance, then take her best friend home and try and get in her pants, I'll appear on a programme called: Where are they now? Say how she ruined my life, the cow, swear I'll make it back to the top somehow, and in the mean time live on the pay-off her lawyer's allow. I want to get a celebrity pregnant.
We met in a church for the homeless full of teenage casualties with their poems and their family problems every single one was a reflection of me she had a boyfriend ten years older sweating like a pig he spat with rage he used to fuck her whilst his friends watched over she was an exhibitionist from an early age We met up again a few years later sniffing around like dogs on the loose we were sexual manipulators bound together by the laws of abuse she thought that maybe I was her salvation we took a walk down lover’s lane but our love stank of desperation we only got as far as hell and back again


7th album from genre-hopping London, UK-based musician and collage artist Ashley Reaks, featuring the improvised Eastern-tinged vocalizations of Norway's Maria Jardardottir, as well as collaborations with Hull wordsmith Joe Hakim, Huddersfield postman Kevin Boniface and lead singer from LA punk veterans The Dickies, Mr Leonard Graves Phillips.



Occasionally one hears an album and is immediately struck by the dexterity of the songwriting, music with a message, delivered, like a Trojan horse, amongst exquisitely constructed tunes. “Before Koresh”, the seventh album from UK-based collage artist and musician Ashley Reaks, is one such album. There is a sense from the opening bars of the title track that the listener is about to embark upon an education, and will in all probability enjoy every moment of it.


A cross-cultural sonic collage of sounds and soundbites, samples and strangeness, ‘Before Koresh’ presents a portrait of a postmodern dystopia... or, moreover, the world in which we live, as Reaks trawls through the detritus like an inverse magpie.


released February 25, 2015

Ashley Reaks - Vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards
Maria Jardardottir - Vocals and vocalizations
Dave Kemp - Saxes, Voodoo guitar, Bass recorder, Accordion
Nick Dunne - Guitar solos on 'Before Koresh' and 'Hell And Back Again'
Joe Hakim - Vocals on 'Crystal' and 'I Want To Get A Celebrity Pregnant'
Leonard Phillips - Vocals on 'The Dustman'
Kevin Boniface - Vocals on 'Mr Barton and The Squirrels'

Recorded and mixed by Dan Mizen at Active Audio Studios, Harrogate in 2014/15

All songs by Ashley Reaks except
'Crystal' and 'I Want To Get A Celebrity Pregnant' by Ashley Reaks/Joe Hakim
'Mr Barton And The Squirrels' by Ashley Reaks/Kevin Boniface

Lyrics for ‘The Dustman’ adapted from an anonymous children’s poem of the same name.

Artwork by Ashley Reaks



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Ashley Reaks Harrogate, UK

Genre-hopping musician and collage artist.

"an incomparable talent and a true original, a man who often borders on genius" - Louder Than War (UK)

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