Inspired by toads , REDLIP is a collaborative project between Northern Irelands Adam Leonard and Welsh noodler Ash Cooke. Both musicians have been adopted by their respective countries for domestic purposes.
Flymo Folk purveyor Adam Leonard was discovered in the Manchester Ship Canal by an Eskimo, aged 25. He is obsessed by BBC 2’s Eggheads and aspires to be the sixth Egghead fielding questions from Dermot Murnaghan and Jeremy Vine.
Adam is known for his non award-winning album ‘How Music Sounds‘ and the internationally ignored ‘How Real Is Real?‘
Mr Leonard recently released the acclaimed almost-solo album ‘Nature Recordings‘ which featured a number of lovely special guests. He continues to redefine the word exhaustion with his punishing live schedule. i.e. Nothing planned unless the money’s big.
Ash Cooke records under the name Pulco. He hides in wardrobes and tries hard to be ignored. His music has been described as left-field folk with colourful instrumentation and rich vocal harmonies. Found sounds and Casio outbursts are common place.
He releases music on Folkwit Records and has recently set free a joyous new album called Small Thoughts.
After an extensive bout of inactivity REDLIP is now proud to present
DAN AND HEADLESS BILL
A collection of the first 8 tunes that we have done.
Available now at Bandcamp:
“I know some of you are going to ask this question at the end, so I thought I’d cut right to the chase and answer it up front, even though some of you will feel like I’m coping out and the writers of the songs may feel like I’m being a little unfair. I acknowledge I’m not going to please everyone here.
“Why are you writing a review praising an album your openly admit you like about half the songs on?” Well, I Iike/liked Viv Stanshall, Spike Milligan and Monty Python, all of whom produced songs and skits of pure genius and all of whom produced some absolute dross. The other thing all three produced were the strange ones that could be dross or genius depending on where you were, in or out of your own mind when you hear them.
Redlip is a collaboration between Ash Cooke, aka Pulco and Adam Leonard, two artists who very much plough their own furrows, experiment and breakdown barriers just to see what there is on the other side.
In some respects this is an album where someone has trapped two crazed innovators in a room with a whiteboard and told them to brainstorm, oh and theres no silly ideas. Consequently we’ve got an album of ideas that don’t really flow together, but apart can be beautiful, dischordant and melodic, often in the same tunes.
Sometimes ideas develop a pace of their own and re-emerge. This happens with the two biography songs. The first song looks at the life of Bert Jansch, the second the death and ghost of Sid James, both songs are the work of genius.
The absolute dross happens to be the opening track, “Intro”, for me it’s an irritating rehash of witty effects that lead into many albums, but it does immediately let you know that you are about to dive into an album where convention isn’t going to apply.
As with Stanshall, Milligan and Monty Python, there are a lot of other performers that will find ideas in here, refine them and move on with credit bulging, both in back pocket and wallet, but that’s why all genres have their innovators and rarely is it the people that thought them up that made the money. Apple have nicked most of their ideas moulded, them into something different and made bucket loads.
Not all of this album will float your boat, there’s bit’s I definitely don’t like, but here’s the chance to get in ahead of the crowd and pick up on some individuality before it hits the mainstream.
Oh one more thing. All credit to Folkwit for having the courage to release albums like this one.”
– Neil King, FATEA
“Ashley Cooke is a rarity. In years to come, experts in eclectic cultural references will mention the name Pulco with great fondness.
We’ve featured Pulco on the Plastik Magazine before. It was last spring that he released his album Triceratops which received a very positive review from Jamie Thunder.
Since then, Ashley Cooke (Pulco) has released another solo album of epic proportions (50 minutes long with 17 dense tracks which pounds on the boundaries of the wall of sound) and now he’s put out this collaboration with Adam Leonard, a songwriter from Northern Ireland.
Not what you might call singalong songs, Redlip (the monicker which the duo have taken for themselves) weaves narrative tales into folkish tunes and found sounds.
Opening with the aptly named intro, the pair introduce the theme for the album: the death of Sid James, the comedian who died on stage in Sunderland in 1976. Over a tune jumping straight from the sad scene in a football hooliganism film, a child reads a newspaper report of James’ death.
That’s followed by a minute long loop entitled Viv. While that may sound as boring as paint drying, Pulco manages to put the looping and use of a single motif that he’s so famous for into good use.
Throughout the rest of the album, the duo – although this could just as well be an album made entirely by Cooke alone – linger around folk tales and newspaper reports long enough to border on meditation.
For example, Jansch 1 is a reading of a digested version of Janschs’ Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bert_Jansch) with dreamy guitar riffs and ethereal voices in the background. While Sid James 1 is a rhythmic hypnosis that sounds like a heart beat with a rather ironic reading of a newspaper report on the final heart attack of Sid James as well as his subsequent haunting of the theatre.
The first Redlip album is brilliant and a laidback, relaxing affair. It’s easy to get the feeling that it was recorded one day because the duo were bored with nothing to do. That shouldn’t take away from the work.
Although it will never be anything other than left of field, hopefully Cooke’s music will begin to attract the popular attention that it deserves.”
– Marc Thomas, Plastik Magazine
Folkwit Records (f0065) – (c)2011 cooke/leonard