Abel Ashes / About This Artist

Artist Details and Stats:

Hometown: Aliso Viejo, CA

Label: Ecto

Website: www.abelashes.com

Genre: Other

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Abel Ashes was born in El Paso, Texas on July 7 1973. As a teenager in Tularosa, NM he began writing poetry. During the 1990s he performed at cafes and theaters in San Diego and recorded several demos. In the late 90s he performed in bands with noise artist Meyer Hirsch. In 1998 Accretions released the CD “Trummerflora 2” featuring Abel’s debut single “The CEO”. Abel Ashes & The Runs performed several San Diego area concerts while recording the album “Eat Plastic”. During this time Abel Ashes & Eric Hensel performed and recorded as the duo Found Objects. Abel quit music for activism after the 9/11 attacks.THE NEW CD: Abel Ashes - Eat Plastic and Other Elements
is now on sale at CDbaby.com. Featuring performances by Marcos Fernandes, Eric G. Hensel, Meyer Hirsch (Hirsch the machine Hirsch), Fayd, Max Vazin and Clare Vazin.
The 10 track Eat Plastic album remastered plus 14 previously unreleased songs including four live improvisations with Eric Hensel from Found Objects at Lestat's on August 15th 2001 and 3 new solo tracks recorded in Louisville between 2004 and 2009.
Now residing in Aliso Viejo, California.


"Combine the controlled guitar tantrums of Sonny Sharrock, the booby hatch mannerisms of Captain Beefheart, and meld them to modern experimental rock sensibilities. With that unlikely combination, Kentucky's Abel Ashes builds a foundation by which to celebrate the decay and collapse of consumerism, and cautions us on the general consequences of bourgeoisie stultification."
John Patrick - Progression: The Quarterly Journal Of Progressive Music, Issue #60

"Ashes' bottomed-out vocal tessitura will remind listeners of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's Nils Frykdahl, or Steve Cash (Ozark Mountain Daredevils). Although assisted by six other musicians, Ashes does all the heavy lifting instrumentally. Eight of these 24 tracks are 'rock' pieces, with the standard vocals/ guitar/ bass/ drums arrangements ('Alamogordo Testing' is a vehicle for dizzying ostanatos). The remainder is stream-of-consciousness guitar daydreams, or disturbing montages ('The Planes Operation', 'Phantoms of Lost Liberty') created from 9/11-based news casts."
John Patrick - Progression: The Quarterly Journal Of Progressive Music, Issue #60, Autumn 2010

"Whatever stylistic corridor Ashes' subtle-as-a-plane crash muse guides him down, his stubbornly independent West Texas roots are ever present, and a genuinely tragic-comic posture would indicate that all this is meant to be good fun."
John Patrick - Progression: The Quarterly Journal Of Progressive Music, Issue #60, Autumn 2010

"If it's been a bit since you listened to players like Mothers of Invention or Beefheart, & you want to hear what they would sound like in the 21st Century, this 24 tune opus will be Nirvana for you, no doubt!"
Rotcod Zzaj - Improvijazzation Nation, Issue #103

"(For) a fine example of just how 'out' this cat gets, check out 'Amtrak Out of Orange County'... you have never heard a 'train song' like this one, but it will keep your ears on paranoia alert!"
Rotcod Zzaj - Improvijazzation Nation, issue #103

"For some superb guitar antics, you'll have to listen to 'Plunder the Garden' - this is exactly the kind of free-form playing we were looking for back in the early days of the 'Olympia Experimental Music Festival' ... raw and very real."
Rotcod Zzaj - Improvijazzation Nation, issue #103

"Nothing can top the madcap rants you'll hear on my favorite composition on this outing, though, 'Stop and Go Traffic (Stop The 9/11 cover-up Mix); it's like Alvin The Chipmunks on heavy steroids. Wack, but in a totally talented zone."
Rotcod Zzaj - Improvijazzation Nation, issue #103

"Is it jazz? No, not quite, but it surely is entertaining. For the listeners in our audience who love experimental and twisted tones, this gets a most highly recommended - 'EQ' (energy quotient) rating is 4.95."
Rotcod Zzaj - Improvijazzation Nation, issue #103

“When I listened to it for the first time, I was not sure what I was getting myself into… It's oddball when it wants to be (which is most of the time) and yet carries a bit of a smirk, which leads me to believe they know exactly what they're doing. Impressive work!”
John Bookman - Music For America, 2006

“There are hints of Frank Zappa in there, in the guitar playing and the deep low voice that Abel Ashes uses in some of the songs, along with the humor. You can take the humor with a grain of salt… it’s the music on this CD is what will keep fans there and wanting to hear more.”
John Bookman - Music For America, 2006

“...in a track like ‘The CEO’, the guy is almost a dead ringer for Calvin Johnson (of Beat Happening fame), and that alone is funny, for here is Abel Ashes singing lyrics that make you want to laugh and yet he does it in a deadpan voice.”
John Bookman - Music For America, 2006

“What also makes these songs interesting is that he's a good storyteller, even if those stories seem to go anywhere and everywhere, not unlike Primus. It's a cartoon-like musical world, with the music just as animated, moving from weird guitar feedback and distortion to jazzy lounge.”
John Bookman - Music For America, 2006

“Nearby, a keyboard player, who introduces himself as Fayd, gropes for the wall socket behind the TV to plug in his instrument. 'I kind of have a last name of Ogolon, but I just go by Fayd,' he says. "They're both not real.'”
Randy Hoffman on Abel Ashes & The Runs' mysterious keyboard player, Fayd - San Diego Reader, 01/18/2001

“Abel Ashes' 'The CEO'... a fantastically disturbing Foetus/Tragic Mulatto hybrid.”
Edwin Decker - SLAMM (San Diego's Lifestyle and Music Magazine), 01/13/1999

“Beefheart and Zappa blues are spectres behind ‘The C.E.O.’ where a plucked electric guitar melody from Abel Ashes is transformed into a Mothers’-like song about a CEO with the help of The Runs on drums, bass and piano.”
Ampersand Etcetera - Volume 3 Number 1, 1998

“’From a sociological standpoint, the nature of experimental music is to take people out of the everyday to the transcendent, which frightens most people because expectations are raised. To transcend the mundane is intimidating.’”
Abel Ashes as quoted by Pam Fox - San Diego Reader, 11/25/1998