Ash Walker

Ash Walker

"Ash Walker is wide open to everything. A true creative who seeks out fresh sounds at every turn, he wants to craft a form of fusion, grappling with club tropes while also incorporating the freedom of jazz-aligned improvisation." - CLASH

"A crossover lounge jazz gem." - Marlbank

Everybody needs “Off Days in London” an EP crafted by the dynamic duo Illa J (Detroit) and Ash Walker (London). Picture this: the bustling streets of London, 2023, where Illa J took a pause from his European Tour, seeking refuge in Ash Walker’s Studio. Amidst radio interviews and brand endorsements, the duo conjured up four tracks that breathe new life into the realms of hip hop and jazz.

From the get-go, you’ll feel the pulse of their creativity, with each track showcasing the undeniable work ethic and unique approach these musicians bring to the table. A delightful fusion of influences, both culinary and musical, sets the stage for a soulful gumbo that’s ready to captivate your senses.

United by shared experiences and inspired by the likes of Detroit legend Amp Fiddler, Ash & Illa blend their distinct styles in a musical journey that transcends genres. BBE’s founder, Peter Adarkwah, couldn’t help but express gratitude when he caught wind of this project, and now, it’s poised for release.

In this EP, Ash & Illa take turns steering the production ship, while the versatile John Yancey contributes vocals, seamlessly navigating between singing and rapping. Witness Illa in rare form as he effortlessly drifts between styles, delivering “grown folk rap” that resonates.

This musical masterpiece was born out of 96 hours of organic collaboration, sparked by a chance brunch courtesy of eggslut. So, kick off your shoes, and experience “Off Days in London”.

Notting Hill has long been a hub for the multicultural diaspora that has transformed the sound of London. Going right back to the days of Colin MacInnes, documented in City Of Spades, right through to the birth of the Notting Hill Carnival, The Clash and Ladbroke Grove stalwarts like Norman Jay. In recent years, that has been somewhat eroded by the arrival of new upscale residents like Tory MP Michael Gove or actress Keira Knightley. But lately, a chink in the relentless armour of gentrification has appeared in the shape of Ash Walker, producer, DJ, dedicated Afro-futurist and man-about-town. 

He is now on his fourth album, Astronaut –  the second for Night Time Stories – the accomplished follow-up to Aquamarine. The album is the sum total of his influences – and then some. Travelling from Dilla to D’Angelo, João Gilberto to Johnny Clarke, Inflo to K15, deep house to Soul Vibrations, hyper modern to crackly classics, but all with that unmistakeable swing and groove that is a key component in the Walker yard.


2 June 2024 – Yalm – Norwich – UK

"I love this." - Lauren Laverne

The gestation of Astronaut took somewhat longer than initially planned, no thanks to the looming presence of the pandemic, which banjaxed the entire industry. Walker, however, used that time wisely and the album you have before you, is a product of those elongated times, both in terms of experience but also the finished product.

“This was going to come out in 2020. It’s going to do great things. Then everything happened the way it did, and then I thought, do you know what? I’m not going to complain. I’m not going to kick off about it not coming out sharpish. So that sort of got in the way, but then I took the time to reach out to people. It was the lockdown where everyone just didn’t have much to do. I’m going to take this opportunity to start hollering at some people that are bigger and better and that I look up to.” And holler, he did.

While his previous album, Aquamarine, where the only collaborators were buddy Laville and trumpeter Yazz Ahmed (both of whom return here too), this time, there are contributions from the London jazz fraternity in Ebi Soda, Oscar Jerome and Joe Armon-Jones, plus vocalists like Londoner Andrew Ashong, former Lamb frontperson Lou Rhodes and Detroit don Amp Fiddler, Tru Thoughts’ duo Denitia and Sly 5th Ave and fellow Night Time Stories’ artist, Kennebec. An album of all the talents.

AGENT: Agnese Daverio

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