Ashley Paul - Heat Source - CD
Ashley Paul's Heat Source was recorded during a challenging year of transience between New York and London. During this year of impermanence Paul performed regularly and the effects of frequent performance and traveling can be heard in the intentionally pared back emptiness of Heat Source, making it an emotionally challenging and fascinatingly personal listening experience.
Heat Source finds Ashley Paul working her brilliant ears to find a zen-like balance between her voice and a sparse arrangement of staccato instrumentation, leaving as much open space on one song as most people would create in a lifetime. This open space isn't just empty, however - it's up to you to fill in the meaning. Heat Source is an emotionally challenging and fascinatingly personal listening experience that creates a powerful space.
Ashley Paul is a performer and composer based in Brooklyn, New York. She uses an array of instruments including saxophone, clarinet, voice, guitar, bells and percussion, mixing disparate elements to create a colorful palate of sound that works its way into her intuitive songs; free forming, introverted melodies. This blend manifests beautiful and simple musical forms against acoustic experimentation. Her solo albums have received high praise, having been chosen by Wire Magazine's "Top 50 Releases of 2013," Pitchfork's "Best Experimental Sounds of 2013," first on Byron Coley and Thurston Moore's "Tongue Top Ten" in Arthur Magazine, and included on NPR's All Songs Considered "Best of 2010." She has been interviewed and featured in Wire Magazine, BOMB, Gonzo (circus), Dummy, The Quietus, Ad Hoc, Spex, The Sound Projector and Foxy Digitalis.
Ashley has performed or recorded with Phill Niblock, Rashad Becker, Nik Colk Void, Loren Connors, Aki Onda, C. Spencer Yeh, Anthony Coleman, Joe Maneri, Joe Morris, Seijiro Murayama, Greg Kelley, Bill Nace and Eli Keszler appearing on such labels as PAN, ESP-DISK and Tzadik. She received a Masters of Music from New England Conservatory in 2007.
1. Sound and Soft
2. Rain, Away
3. I'm In You
4. Heat Source
6. Feet On Legs
7. London February 16
8. Drop Me
10. Lie Awake
Pitchfork Out Door interview
"'Heat Source' (Important) is soft in sound but hardheaded in attitude: dissonant chordal pluckings on a guitar, long tones on a clarinet and saxophone, a careful high voice creeping through it, bells and close-up noises of objects being shifted, pushed and scraped. Is it arranged? Is it made up on the spot? It's almost all coming from Ashley Paul, a Brooklyn musician who sometimes sounds influenced by improvisers like Derek Bailey or Keith Rowe, and sometimes sounds as if she's got nothing to do with any tradition at all - rather, a songwriter with a diaristic, private and flexible sense of what a song is." ~ New York Times
"Brooklyn-based Ashley Paul has played and recorded with jazz and experimental heavyweights for a number of years now, including Anthony Coleman, Joe Maneri, Joe Morris, Phill Niblock, Loren Connors, Aki Onda, C. Spencer Yeh, Greg Kelley, Bill Nace, Rashad Becker, and Valerio Tricoli. But she doesn't really need any of them, to be honest, since she can handle anything from reed to brass to percussion to string instruments to accordions to effect pedals all by herself - and so she has on all of her records up to this point, only rarely including guest appearances. Each release becomes more pointed, zen-like, and tighter instrumentally, and judging by the track 'I'm In You,' her latest record Heat Source is likely to be her most focused album to date: impressive considering she recorded it between New York and London over a full year. Imagine if John Cage had a lovely woman's singing voice, could play guitar, and could write songs, and you get an idea of how bare and vulnerable her music is." ~ Ad Hoc