Complete Singles Collection
Alex Ayuli and Rudi Tambala neologized dream pop and released two of the style's exemplary albums. They also excelled with their singles, all of which are compiled on this two-and-a-half-hour set. "When You're Sad," their 1986 debut, provoked Jesus and Mary Chain comparisons, but the duo -- who cited Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, early Weather Report, and the ECM label -- claimed that they'd heard neither that band nor any of its ilk. Despite some similarity, the debut's A-side is both heavier and tenderer than JAMC with no trace of the Velvet Underground. The ecstasy/horror contrast between "You're the sweetest little thing I ever had" and "The hair on your neck forms a noose around mine" deepens with the following year's Lollita 12." Its three songs, produced by the Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie, alternate between placid space-folk and industrial post-punk, bliss and dread. "Butterfly Collector" is twice as terrifying as Hüsker Dü's "Diane," as it moves through thoughts of adoration and objectification to fantasies of possession and elimination: "You're so sweet, miss cutie pie"/"I'm gonna pin you down, I'm gonna kill you." After "Pump Up the Volume," their smash one-off Colourbox collaboration as M/A/R/R/S -- the brilliant B-side and its remix appears here -- the duo's sound gets less violent and increasingly accessible, highlighted by the feverish slow-motion dub-drone of "Baby Milk Snatcher" (at nearly twice the length as the version on 69). The set's second half, beginning with the "i" era's cleaner, brighter, more intricate approach -- developed just as piles of new bands were picking up on their 1986-1988 ideas -- will be less revelatory for those who know the LPs but not the EPs. Album mixes and single edits of five "i" songs, all of which sound more like a heavenly electronic dub version of I-Level than My Bloody Valentine, are present, along with numerous remixes. Unfortunately, there isn't enough room for the six-track Remixes EP, half of which was executed by Guthrie. It might be more of a shame that One Little Indian didn't (or couldn't) repurpose the front and back of the Vaughan Oliver-designed Lollita sleeve, though it is reproduced in the booklet. The perfect graphic representation of A.R. Kane, it shows the front of a doe-eyed nude woman, while the flip side displays a shot of her from behind -- as she clutches a large knife behind her back.