***If you, the discerning record collector, has even a passing interest in the posthumously named genre “acid folk”, surely the name ED ASKEW is in your golden pantheon. Askew recorded the sublimely gorgeous LP Ask the Unicorn in 1968 for the legendary proto-DIY label ESP records, which has now been recognized as a god-damn underground classic. Armed only with a tiple (sort of a South American mandolin) and his lilting neigh of a voice (and bearing superficial resemblances to labelmates Pearls Before Swine, and heady UK acoustic folkers Incredible String Band), Askew spun tales of doomed sisters, crashing universes, budding gay love, and a serious fondness for roses on his rare, precious and beautiful album. Ed unearthed four reels of radio sessions taped in 1969–70, performing songs from his first two albums (and the totally previously unreleased track, “Green Song”)! The tapes were meticulously studied by Galactic Zoo Disk honcho Plastic Crimewave (of Galactic Zoo Dossier, er, fame), and the best versions were extracted for this release—absolutely stunning renditions of Askew standards like “Fancy That” (with a sense of propulsive urgency not on the LP version, we’d say!) or “Red Woman” and “Mr. Dream”—which are perhaps even more gooily gorgeous than the originals.
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