Americana London's A.R. Kane are a black duo who wield guitars rather than sampling machines. But their ethereal version of "black rock" has little in common… Americana London's A.R. Kane are a black duo who wield guitars rather than sampling machines. But their ethereal version of "black rock" has little in common… A.R. Kane Rock
Music Review

Americana

EW's GRADE
A+

Details Genre: Rock

London's A.R. Kane are a black duo who wield guitars rather than sampling machines. But their ethereal version of ''black rock'' has little in common with the funk-metal bombast of Living Colour. Influenced by Miles Davis' late '60s jazz-rock fusion and reggae's echo-laden beat, A.R. Kane combine irridescent guitar haze with haunting melodies and mystical imagery. Americana is their U.S. major label debut, courtesy of art-rocker David Byrne's new record label, Luaka Bop. It's a compilation of tracks from the late-'80s EPs and LPs that in Britain won the group huge critical acclaim and influenced a generation of indie bands. ''Up'' is a dazzling soundscape as vast and forbidding as Antarctica, while ''Spermwhale Trip Over'' (from their debut album, 69) is a blurry, blissful evocation of an underwater Garden of Eden. Elsewhere, A.R. Kane move closer to pop. ''A Love From Outer Space'' drapes exotic synthesizer noises over brisk house-music beats. ''Spook'' is celestial stadium rock, like U2 on LSD. A.R. Kane's ''dreampop'' fills the mind's eye with fantastical images; don't miss this opportunity to feed your head. A+

Originally posted Feb 07, 1992 Published in issue #104 Feb 07, 1992 Order article reprints