Ask the Unicorn is an "acid folk" masterpiece and one of the most singular releases from the infamous and historic ESP-Disk catalogue. It was recorded live to tape by a 27 year-old Ed Askew in 1968. Since that time, the impossible-to-find record and the man have acquired a mythological status. This first-ever, fully-remastered reissue has been awaited internationally for over 30 years.
But Ask the Unicorn, one of the most unique and gripping records under the 1960's sun, remained a question and an item of critical and fan devotion. It is finally available on the white vinyl Askew originally requested. The cover for the UK release, reproduced here, is the positive of the US edition. It is a photo of the protests in Stamford following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ask the Unicorn is a wild album. Inspired by immersion in Lorca and Kurt Weil, Askew's live psych delivery blends "bitter and economical" with deep imagism. The tone of the Martin tiple, the 10-string ultra-resonant acoustic instrument for which Askew is known, is wiry and stark -- a true counterpoint to contemporary psychedelic music. Ask the Unicorn is also a very rare and important work by an openly gay songwriter in the 1960's.
released October 23, 2015
Ed Askew - Voice, Tiple
All songs written and performed by Ed Askew
Produced by Ed Askew
Recorded and Engineered by Onno Scholtze
Reissued by Tin Angel Records in 2015
Remastered by Jessica Thompson at the Magic Shop in NYC
Reissue produced by Richard Guy and Jay Pluck