M Y Spencer | Berkshire, Berkshire United Kingdom | 03/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Steve Sutherland, then writing for the Melody Maker, included A.R. Kane's "69", as an esoteric musical experience he termed "oceanic". He described the sense of joy one can feel in our recollections of the state of "heaven on earth" experienced in earliest childhood/infancy; not recalling actual events in time and space, but perceptions of the world informed by inner joy. Sutherland cited the Cocteau Twins and Hendrix's "1983, a merman...",as blissful and evocative if acquired. This struck a chord personally, as it was something I had experienced with the Cocteau's and finally, after initial doubt, with A.R. Kane's "69". Obique "Joycean" wordplay, but most importantly, the astute mix of faraway melody, studio effect and white noise make this album such a brilliant example of the "oceanic" experience; structurally it is clearly influenced diversely (My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins and Dub Reggae). There are no compromises here for commercial considerations (to some extent sadly conceded to on their follow-up, "i"), a reverie may be entered into, but it's serenity may be edged with cutting, searing aural velocity, and on one track ("sulliday"), simply creative feedback, but a track that contrasts so effectively with the beautiful simplicity of the preceding "scab". The high-point of the album is really from "spermwhale...", through the heartbreaking majesty of "the sun falls..." and onward... I would beg the listener to persevere with this, or any seemingly inaccessible music which nevertheless seems to hint initially at a deeper level;joy can remain in the heart, but may need rediscovering; I found this to be the case and Steve Sutherland's explanation to be profoundly true, but there can be no mass marketing for such inner life (well, let them laugh,the fools...!)"
Excellent album from a forgotten band
Matt H. | Brooklyn, NY USA | 01/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"69, released by A.R. Kane in the late 80s on Rough Trade, is an excellent album from a band that no one mentions anymore. Here is what I hear: There is a very loose quality to the music, a lack of obvious structure, that sometimes makes the songs sound like they are teetering between poppiness and falling apart. A.R. Kane employs guitar noises reminiscent of early Jesus and Mary Chain and act almost as a stepping stone between J&M Chain and more polished shoe-gazer bands like My Bloody Valentine, prefiguring also long-form drone music by groups like Windy & Carl. At the same time, they definitely have something of their own going on, and it's hard to classify them as one thing or another. "69" is a really interesting album that grew on me very quickly. Check it out and spread the word."