padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
69 is a really interesting I record. definitely more difficult than the earlier EPs, and I don't think I enjoy it as much.

but it has the very rare quality of not sounding like anything except itself. it's ambiguous. it contains multitudes. it's definitely a "work of art".

I'd assume that's a big reason they didn't spawn a movement in their wake, no formula to copy. whereas MBV took one element and distilled it to perfection.

I like that you can identify influences in an indirect sense but not necessarily where they lead, how they were used or combined

I can see why fwd rock critics freaked out about in 1988, it has some of the magic of Can, PIL, etc about it, even if the result isn't at that level

my favorite song on it is, predictably, the most straightforward guitar dreampop biz
 

catalog

Well-known member
i'm gonna listen to those a.r kane tracks properly and report back - everyone tells me i should love em cos i like tricky and dean blunt, but i've never got em...
 

sufi

lala
i remember scoring that record almost certainly on the back of SR 's slavering hype - there was a v strong favour-of-the-month-ist culture at that time, as we were discussing on the SR thread, and ARK were a prime example of that.
I made great valiant efforts to love it (and be a hip teenage indie vanguardist) and succeeded to some extent, but it hasnt really stuck with me, in fact re-listening now i would say it just slid away, intangibly and murmuring fuzzily. i guess there are some catchy earwormy moments, but for me it was another element in that 4AD movement away from core indie, towards a destination as yet unknown (unless you had already made the jump to the new epoch of house and electronics) these were still guitar guys, though they had blackness, they were still stretching it using synths and stuff, but hadn't quite made the leap...
except they had - they'd already had a number 1 hit with pump up the volume ffs - a totally different dimension of pop excitement and joy - this album should have been some sort of crossover leading us towards the nuum
 

catalog

Well-known member
i always feel with them, that people don't actually like them, they prefer what they represent. like they are useful theoretically, but don't actually bang. but they could have done, and like you say, the fact they did pump up the volume shows the range of skill going on. they're like a great missed opportunity, now being back-loaded with a lot of other stuff.

dean blunt does name check them, but tricky doesn't, when he couldve done
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
like they are useful theoretically, but don't actually bang
that's pretty fair I think

I think it would be even more fair to say that looking in retrospect, the different elements don't really come together sometimes

you get that problem in genreless music of having no there there, no core sound. the flipside of endless unrestricted possibility.

a lot of 90s music that somewhat follows them - trip hop, guitar-related electronica - has that problem I think

that I why like those EPs - the first one and Up Home, specifically - they do bang, in proto-shoegaze sea of guitars way

69 has a kind of art brut quality that reminds me of early industrial records a bit - like they were smart dudes who listened to a lot of cool records and had interesting ideas but maybe not the wherewithal to execute so the results are mixed but occasionally magic. I like how the dude's voice is reminiscent of Arthur Russell, and it has some of the feel of his experimental work albeit not as good, tho not much is generally.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
a totally different dimension of pop excitement and joy - this album should have been some sort of crossover leading us towards the nuum
I mean, their crowning achievement

it makes me wonder why the rest of the album it's off is so blase and forgettable, who knows

maybe they were constricted by being a "band" and releasing albums. seems like they'd have been better off doing 12"s.

but "A Love From Outer Space" imo beats anything from Madchester or indie dance or whatever by a country mile, except "Fools Gold" and maybe the Mondays at their most shambolic
 

sufi

lala
I mean, their crowning achievement

it makes me wonder why the rest of the album it's off is so blase and forgettable, who knows

maybe they were constricted by being a "band" and releasing albums. seems like they'd have been better off doing 12"s.

but "A Love From Outer Space" imo beats anything from Madchester or indie dance or whatever by a country mile, except "Fools Gold" and maybe the Mondays at their most shambolic
its all in the production, twiddle those knobs and this could have been fools gold
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
you know who else they remind me of a bit is Lemon Kittens, another 80s we're experimental but also guitars deal whose albums you want to better

unlike A.R. Kane, they don't really have any transcendent moments, tho after they broke up Danielle Dax made some kinda cool weirdo auteur pop records

Kate Bush's spooky stepsister? proto-Bjork? Lydia Lunch, but relaxed? idk, but the kinda stuff Pitchfork would've been spraying with 9s ca. 2010
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
its all in the production, twiddle those knobs and this could have been fools gold
yeah but twiddling the knobs is a philosophical thing ain't it

Stone Roses were a proper rock band, A.R.K. as blissblogger put it more of an experimental guitar pop production duo
 

craner

Beast of Burden
i remember scoring that record almost certainly on the back of SR 's slavering hype - there was a v strong favour-of-the-month-ist culture at that time, as we were discussing on the SR thread, and ARK were a prime example of that.
I made great valiant efforts to love it (and be a hip teenage indie vanguardist) and succeeded to some extent, but it hasnt really stuck with me, in fact re-listening now i would say it just slid away, intangibly and murmuring fuzzily. i guess there are some catchy earwormy moments, but for me it was another element in that 4AD movement away from core indie, towards a destination as yet unknown (unless you had already made the jump to the new epoch of house and electronics) these were still guitar guys, though they had blackness, they were still stretching it using synths and stuff, but hadn't quite made the leap...
except they had - they'd already had a number 1 hit with pump up the volume ffs - a totally different dimension of pop excitement and joy - this album should have been some sort of crossover leading us towards the nuum
This was on the b-side of 'Pump Up The Volume' and it's amazing:

 

sufi

lala

sufi

lala
This was on the b-side of 'Pump Up The Volume' and it's amazing:

this is sort of 1/2 way there, i guess i kinda remember it
colourbox are in this zone too, trying to be dance but can't quite shed the being a guitar band thing
 
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