We’re kicking this newsletter off with a bold claim: A.R. Kane, the musical creation of the two East Londoners Rudy Tambala and Alex Ayuli, is one of the most criminally under-appreciated bands of the early nineties.
They started the shoegaze trend, they basically invented dreampop, and they challenged what the corporate suits (ok ok, Geoff Travis from Rough Trade and a few others, hardly THAT corporate) wanted or expected of them. But when it came time for the masses to rally around them—crickets.
But we’re in an age of rediscovery. We’re all looking and listening back, unearthing overlooked masterpieces and reconsidering their importance. Could it be the time for A.R. Kane is now?
Some of you might remember that way back in April we made a limited, double LP gatefold edition of Americana for Record Store Day (thirty years after its first release)—well, we held a few copies back for you. It has the same beautiful cover and artwork as the original (by Fabien Baron of Baron & Baron), but it comes with new notes by the late, great art and music writer Greg Tate, which were among the last things he wrote before he died. We’ll let him take it from here (this is an excerpt, but you can read him in full):
In the beginning there was only Black Noise. As in, every sound Western European ears heard emitted from an enslaved African lung, on either coast of the Black Atlantic, was considered barbaric yawp, barely human let alone musical dissonance.
James Brown, Albert Ayler, Aretha Franklin and Jimi Hendrix recovered the blackest screams hauled off the auction block, the whipping post, and the lynching tree, as race-memory recalled and replicated necessities for any Black musician attempting resonant and authentic Black and blue expressionism in the 1960s. Hendrix’s deployment of harmonic feedback created lyrical consonance from electronic Black noise and opened up the cosmos for his Stratocaster’s infinitely barbaric yawp. [...]
And then came A.R. Kane.
We’re making Americana available tomorrow for Bandcamp Friday. If you’re in the U.S., you can get it in, what else, Green Hazed Daze color vinyl. Everywhere else in Stare into the New Black Void vinyl. And like we said, it’s going live tomorrow—but if you’re itching to order your copy now, you can nab the color version on our website.
Staples Jr. Singers speak with the Guardian
You know that publication who helped uncover all those crazy things happening with the World Cup in Qatar? Well, amid supporting all that cutting-edge reporting, they also found the time to speak with our favorite family band from Aberdeen, Mississippi, the Staples Jr. Singers. This happened right on the precipice of their first European tour (which went super well, by the way—the band had a blast playing for you all and traveling around the continent for the first time). If you haven’t had a chance to read the article yet, we’d love it if you’d check it out.