At the end of the 80’s the duo known as As Able As Kane(AAAK) first stalked the streets of the NW, bullying audiences with their Buildingscape Beats – a mutant offspring of the Electronic Body Music scene.
They took their name from a song by Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel and their influences from European acts like Laibach, The Young Gods and Front 242, as well as Essex’s Nitzer Ebb.
At the time, Manchester was in the midst of Stone Roses and Happy Monday madness (how history repeats itself) and so the hard-edged industrial sound of AAAK appealed to only a handful [of special] people. The band signed 2 record deals and 2 albums were released back then.
John Peel liked them and so it seemed did the Europeans. The second album in the recently released John Peel on-line album collection happens to be a AAAK release…..
In 1992 the band split and it seemed like they were quickly forgotten. Ding, the music man in the outfit, continued a career in music, building up a recording studio and finding himself playing bass for the likes of The Fall , PJ Harvey and Frank Black over the years. More recently he played with Bobbie Peru and Kin.
Then, in 2009, Ding was approached by Electric Tremor records about having these earlier works re-released, an idea which quickly escalated into them being re-recorded and the band reforming after tracking down the band’s singer, Paul R.
A 2CD release entitled ‘The Collection’ was released in June 2010, with the band returning to the stage for the first time in nearly 20 years too. There were showcases in hometown Salford (at Sacred Trinity Church) and over in Germany & Belgium .Performances were incredibly well received, with the band employing the use of video, lighting and circuit-bent technology to put the shows together. AAAK continue to go out of their way to be as awkward and ill-placed as they were 20 years ago by doing nothing like the norm.
Throughout 2011 they combined playing further live shows with the writing of a new LP. This is now out and entitled “Totalitarian Tip-Toe” – you can find my review here. Ding and Paul have expanded the line up of the band with guitarist Neil Rowbotham of The Words (“a much better guitarist than me” says Ding), and Tamsin A lead chanteuse and guitarist with Mr Heart. Special guests on the album were Kim F and Howard J from Kin. In the most recent live appearance the band was a five piece with Neil, Howard and Tamsin joining Paul and Ding on stage.
In April 2012 the band set up their own website where their early work is now available for free download. The website contains free downloads of the bands first two releases which Ding has remastered – plus other rare material.
The show – which you can listen to here – contains the following tracks:
|4||Toska Wilde and Luis Drayton||I Am Kathy Kirby (AAAK Remix)||I Am Kathy Kirby EP|
|5||AAAK||Sleep Freeze||The Collection|
|6||AAAK||Get In The Real World||Totalitarian Tip-Toe|
|7||AAAK||Train to the West||Big Fist|
|8||The Hired Help||Perfect Society||Exclusive Track|
|9||Kin||Army of Ruined Buildings||Flickering|
|10||AAAK||We Fall Alone||The Collection|
|11||The Fall||Recovery Kit #2||We Wish You A Protein Xmas|
|12||AAAK||Better Off Dead||Totalitarian Tip-Toe|
|13||AAAK||Sharpshooter (2012 – Shadow of Progress Remix)||Exclusive Track|