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‘Chill Out’ dudes, they got this: rare KLF albums appear on iTunes
01.18.2013
08:59 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Rave
Ambient
The KLF
Re-issue
title


 
I don’t know how this has happened, but original rave nutters The KLF have had some of the rarer albums made available to purchase on iTunes.

It’s a bit of a surprise because these album are sample-tastic jail bait, and one of them was not even officially released at the time (such as The White Room Original Motion Picture Soundtrack from 1990, which differs considerably from The White Room, which was released to international acclaim in 1991).

Pick of the bunch of KLF album re-issues, for me anyway, are both the band’s ambient albums from 1990, Chill Out and Space (which is sometimes credited as artist name Space). Both albums were made in collaboration with Alex Patterson, who went on to form the mighty Orb, and his influence is palpable.

Similar in style and structure to The Orb at their most out there, both albums were cut from tape recordings of live ambient dj sets, and feature a gentle shower of found and pre-prepared sound to make you feel like you’re floating on a cosmic river. You can easily get lost in these records. To resurrect that old cliché, they really take you on a journey, maaan. Underground culture hasn’t felt this psychedelic in a long time.
 

The KLF and Tammy Wynette, via thefuckersburnedthelot, h/t to John Power
 
The KLF are one of the greatest “joke” bands of all time, and I don’t mean that in a “comedy band” or “wacky” way, I mean more in the style of the Merry Pranksters, or the Bonzos. Situationist humor. They took their original name (The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu) from the Illuminatus! trilogy, after all. They pushed some sharp critique but mixed it up with a liberal dose of the bizarre. Just look at that picture of them with Tammy Wynette. It’s genius!

Don’t forget that they brought a dead sheep to the Brit Awards, played live at that bloated, complacent shindig with thrash metallers Extreme Noise Terror, and fired fake machine guns into the audience while they did it. Oh yeah, and this one time they burned a million pounds.  . 

At the time these albums were first released they were seen by some as mere novelties, curios from a band who made it hard to take themselves seriously. Time has been very kind to them however, and over twenty years later they still retain their charm, and that elusive sense of magic.

Maybe The KLF appearing on iTunes is a huge cosmic joke on all our expenses. Or maybe Caughty and Drummond badly need some cash. Either way these albums are worth getting, before they’re possibly withdrawn. Again.

The KLF “Space” (part one)
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile

 

 

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