Ashley Reaks is a London–based collage artist and genre-hopping musician.
Reaks abandoned academia and a promising career as a cricketer after hearing the Ramones “Rocket to Russia” album and seeing Gee Vaucher’s artwork for anarchist punk band Crass. Reaks’ musical career is eclectic, including stints playing bass for Take That’s Mark Owen, touring the US and Canada with prog-rock guitar-hero Francis Dunnery, performing on the main stage of the Glastonbury Festival and having the obligatory hit in Japan with his own short-lived and much-hyped electro-pop outfit Younger Younger 28’s (V2 Records) in the late 90’s.
In recent years Reaks has created art and music relentlessly, exhibiting his ‘disturbing and provocative’ art at various exhibitions worldwide, from Berlin to Detroit, as well as producing 6 albums, including the dark acoustic pop of 2010’s “Here’s To The Good Life”, the old school punk of 2014’s “This Is Planet Grot”, as well as the more experimental uneasy listening of “Melancholia”, “Power Failure” and 2014’s prog-punk concept album “Compassion Fatigue (1-8)”.
Recent live shows have seen Reaks combining his art and music by projecting his collages on a screen whilst performing. He is currently finishing his 3rd album of 2014, ‘”Before Koresh”, putting on a solo exhibition of his art in London and collaborating on an album and script with Hull writer and wordsmith Joe Hakim.
‘Reaks experiments successfully with a myriad of genres layering reggae, African drumming, Indian vocalizations, a heavy dose of minimalist Steve Reich, electronica, jazz and spoken word, Jah Wobble bass and even scat-singing to his wizardly elixir.’ – Penny Black Music