A.R. Kane

69

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With both early EPs and the M/A/R/R/S smash success behind them, A.R. Kane found themselves more than ready to go ahead with a full album in 1988, and did so wonderfully. It's safe to say that the start of the opening track alone, "Crazy Blue," resembles little else recorded that year or any other one -- a few plucked guitar notes, a sudden jazzy scat-vamp by singer Rudi with his truly unique voice, then a more direct poppish strum, the woozy line, "Ooooh...everything's gone crazy now," followed by a series of intense reverbed chime sounds and bongo-like percussion. From there on in, things take a turn for the strangely captivating in song after song. Never simply poppy nor completely arty, and definitely not just the Jesus and Mary Chain/Cocteau Twins fusion most claimed they were (admittedly song titles like "Spermwhale Trip Over" and "Baby Milk Snatcher" easily led to the description!), A.R. Kane here feels playful, mysterious, and inventive all at once, impossible to truly pin down. The best one-two punch on the record comes from "Sulliday," with buried, measured percussion and evocative drones, and "Dizzy," featuring a mesmerizing call-and-response by Rudi with himself, veering between more gentle, direct vocals and echoed shouts, eerily foretelling much of what Tricky would similarly do years later. An unfairly long-lost classic.

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