A.R. Kane

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A.R. Kane
AR Kane.jpg
Rudy Tambala (L) and Alex Ayuli
Background information
Origin East London, England
Genres Dream pop, experimental rock, alternative dance
Labels Rough Trade, 4AD, One Little Indian, Luaka Bop/Sire
Associated acts MARRS, In Rain, Sufi, Alex!, MusicOne, Robin Guthrie
Past members Alex Ayuli
Rudy Tambala

A.R. Kane (sometimes stylized as A R Kane or A.R.Kane) were a British experimental musical duo formed in 1986 by Alex Ayuli and Rudy Tambala.

The duo have been described as "arguably the most criminally under-recognized band of their era."[1] Pioneers of an ethereal style for which they coined the name "dream pop," A.R. Kane have also been acknowledged as an important influence on such subsequent musical developments as shoegaze, trip hop, post-rock, and acid house.[2] Their "oceanic sound"[3] has drawn comparisons to a broad range of styles, including avant-garde jazz, dub music, neo-psychedelia, and electronic dance music.[4]

Ayuli and Tambala were also part of the one-off recording collective MARRS, whose influential 1987 single "Pump Up the Volume" became a surprise worldwide number one chart hit.[5]


Ayuli is of Nigerian descent, while Tambala was born to a Malawian father and English mother.[6] The two first met as schoolchildren in East London, becoming friends at the age of eight.[7] Both were involved in formative music scenes as adolescents, with Ayuli part of a dub sound system and Tambala immersed in the local jazz-funk scene.[8]

The group's name was derived from the duo's first names (the "A" in Alex and the "R" in Rudy) as well as the term "Kaning," a verb referring to the artistic process of "going to the threshold of creation, of maximum potential where all things are possible yet uncreated."[9]

A.R. Kane began by releasing two 12" singles, each on a trend-setting UK indie label (One Little Indian and 4AD). This was followed by string of EPs and two albums on Rough Trade Records – 1988's sixty-nine and 1989's "i", the latter of which spawned what is arguably A.R. Kane's best-known song, "A Love From Outer Space." Both albums achieved wide critical acclaim, particularly in UK magazine Melody Maker, where they were championed most prominently by critic Simon Reynolds.

Rough Trade went bankrupt in 1991, hindering the band's momentum and leaving them label-less. In 1992, David Byrne's record label, Luaka Bop, released a 15-song US retrospective of the band's work, entitled Americana. After an early-1990s hiatus, follow-up album New Clear Child (1994) was released to mixed reception.

A.R. Kane's first two albums were reissued in the US by One Little Indian in 2004, and New Clear Child was reissued by 3rd Stone in 2000. The singles compilation Complete Singles Collection was released in 2012.

Post-breakup and influences[edit]

Since the dissolution of A.R. Kane, Tambala made ambient- and dub-based music with his sister Maggie under the alias Sufi[10] and released the 1995 album Life's Rising on Caroline Records. Tambala is currently working for Ministry of Sound as Head of New Media, and has previously worked for Virgin Digital in non-musical related roles. He currently records as MusicOne.[11]

Ayuli was known to be a museum curator in the US He put out releases under the name Alex!.[12] In 2006, Ayuli contributed vocals on two tracks ("Soulsong" and "Passage") of the album "Primario" by the Mexican record label Static Discos artist Fax. He will also appear on Fax's forthcoming album, Zig Zag.[13] Ayuli appears in Beautiful Noise, the documentary on the shoegazing music scene of the 1990s[14]

Bands such as Long Fin Killie, Slowdive, Dubstar, The Veldt, Apollo Heights and Seefeel have cited A.R. Kane as an influence.



  • sixty-nine CD/LP – 1988 – Rough Trade, Rough 119 (Reissued on One Little Indian, 2004)
  • "i" CD/LP – 1989 – Rough Trade, Rough 139 (Reissued on One Little Indian, 2004)
  • New Clear Child CD/LP – 1994 – Luaka Bop, (Reissued on 3rd Stone, 2000)

EPs, Singles[edit]

  • When You're Sad 12" – 1986, One Little Indian, 12 TP 2
  • Lollita 12" – 1987, 4AD, BAD 704
  • Up Home! 12" – 1988, Rough Trade, RTT 201
  • Listen Up! 12" – 1988, Rough Trade, 229 (under the name ARK)
  • Love-Sick 12" – 1988, Rough Trade, 231
  • Pop CD/12" – 1989, Rough Trade, RT 239
  • rem"i"xes CD/12" – 1990, Rough Trade Deutschland, RTD 171 (Germany/ UK)
  • A Love From Outer Space CD/12" – 1992, Luaka Bop/ Sire


  • Americana CD/LP – 1992, Luaka Bop/ Sire
  • Complete Singles Collection 2xCD – 2012, One Little Indian


External links[edit]