A.R. Kane - Up Home!

Rocket Girl
(rgirl134: 5016266113410)




Release date: June 21, 2024

REMASTERED ROUGH TRADE 4 TRACK EP LIMITED TO 500 COPIES.

Everything on “Up Home!” is bigger, richer; the guitars are huge, as though they’re being played through the clouds, massive gusts of blue-green noise that move across the stereo spectrum like weather systems. “Baby Milk Snatcher” is built around face-flattening dub bass, with glinting piano and shards of guitar ricocheting through the song. “W.O.G.S.” is delirious to the point of expiration; “One Way Mirror” is their attempt at weird, lopsided ‘anti-funk’, the song’s melody crushed by avalanches of six-string interference. And the closing “Up” is AR Kane’s masterpiece, a disembodied thud pulsing at its heart as a six-note guitar melody spirals ever onward, Ayuli’s voice lost in its own reverie, hymning escapism via references to Jamaican political activist Marcus Garvey’s ‘black star line’.

Jon Dale, lead review in Uncut Magazine Uncut

 "A.R. Kane made some of the most exciting, forward-thinking, and science fictional music of their era".

*Reissue Of The Week In The Quietus* The Quietus

Feature with Simon Reynolds in Pitchfork - Pitchfork Feature

A.R. Kane were formed in 1986 by Rudy Tambala and Alex Ayuli, two second-generation immigrants who grew up together in Stratford, East London. From the off the pair were outsiders in the culturally mixed (cockney/Irish/West Indian/Asian) milieu of the East End, with Alex and Rudy’s folks first generation immigrants from Nigeria and Malawi, respectively. The two of them quickly developed and fostered an innate and near-telepathic mutual understanding forged in musical, literary and artistic exploration. Like a lot of second-generation immigrants, they were ferocious autodidacts in all kinds of areas, especially around music and literature. Diving deep into the music of afro-futurist luminaries such as Sun Ra, Miles Davis, Lee Perry and Hendrix, as well as devouring the explorations of lysergic noise and feedback from contemporaries like Sonic Youth and Butthole Surfers, they also thoroughly immersed themselves in the alternate literary realities of sci-fi and ancient history (the fascination with the arcane that gave the band their name), all to feed their voracious cultural thirsts and intellectual curiosity.

It was seeing the Cocteau Twins performing on Channel 4 show the Tube that spurred A.R. Kane into being - “They had no drummer. They used tapes and technology and Liz Fraser looked completely otherworldly with those big eyes. And the noise coming out of Robin’s guitar! That was the ‘Fuck! We could do that!

The duo debuted with the astonishing ‘When You’re Sad’ single for One Little Indian in 1986. Immediately dubbed a ‘black Jesus &  Mary Chain’ by a press unsure of WHERE to put a black band clearly immersed in feedback and noise, what was immediately apparent for listeners was just how much more was going on here – a tapping of dub’s stealth and guile, a resonant umbilicus back to fusion and jazz, the music less a conjuration of past highs than a re-summoning of lost spirits.

The run of singles and EPs that followed picked up increasingly rapt reviews in the press, but it was the ‘Up Home EP’ released in 1988 on their new home, Rough Trade that really suggested something immense was about to break. SimonReynolds noted the EP was: Their most concentrated slab of iridescent awesomeness and a true pinnacle of an era that abounded with astounding landmarks of guitar-reinvention, A.R. Kane at their most elixir-like.

If anything, the remastered ‘Up Home’ is even more dazzling, even more startling than it was when it first emerged, and listening now you again wonder not just about how many bands christened ‘shoegaze’ tried to emulate it, but how all of them fell so far short of its lambent, pellucid wonder. This remains intrinsically experimental music but with none of the frowning orthodoxy those words imply. A.R. Kane, thanks to that second generation auto-didacticism were always supremely aware about the interstices of music and magic, but at the same time gloriously free in the way they explored that connection within their own sound, fascinated always with the creation of ‘perfect mistakes’ and the possibilities inherent in informed play.

Tracklisting:

1. Baby Milk Snatcher
2. W.O.G.S.
3. One Way Mirror
4. Up

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