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



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 | Leave a comment
PM David Cameron at a Rave in 1988?
01:22 pm


David Cameron

Around 12 seconds in you will see someone you might just recognize. Someone who looks very like a young David Cameron, enjoying himself at a rave, circa 1988.

If it is the Right Honorable Prime Minister, I wonder if he did any ecstasy? It would be refreshing if he did. I think we should be told.

With thanks to Mark MacLachlan

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Rave Years Pt 3: Unknown news report 1991

“If it goes any further it might as well be rock and roll”

Kevin Saunderson on the the mutation of house and techno into “rave”.

Here’s an interesting little adjunct to the rave documentaries I have been posting recently - this is not a full length doc like the others, but a much shorter news-type item for what was presumably a youth culture show. It is interesting for a number of reasons - it’s cataloging the emergence of “rave” as a defined type of music as represented by acts such as SL2 and The Prodigy, and that kind of music’s growing popularity. In fact, the clip features an interview with a 19 year old (!) Liam Howlett, bemoaning the lack of radio play of rave music, despite it regularly reaching the upper reaches of the British charts. Ironically, it was The Prodigy who were charged with killing rave music by turning it into novelty records of the likes of “Charly Says”. In this clip rave-based dance music is referred to as “techno”, even as a Detroit-based techno pioneer such as Inner City’s Kevin Saunderson criticise the new music for lack of “soul”. At a time when dance culture in the UK was moving from the overground to the underground it is interesting to see the schisms opening up that would split it into many different categories:


Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
The Rave Years Pt 1: ‘A Trip Round Acid House’ 1988

Spectrum flyer, 1988, designed by Dave Little.
Acid house - the sound of a Roland TB 303 getting turned up too far that can send the most loved up dancer wild with convulsions of ecstasy . A unique sound accidentally discovered by DJ Pierre and friends in Chicago 25 years ago and that can still wreck dancefloors to this very day. A type of music which for a period of time in the late 80s infested the upper reaches of the UK’s charts and spawned a youth culture all of its own. Let me hear you say ACIEEED!

I was way too young to have any first hand experience of clubbing during the acid house years, but the music and imagery still had a huge effect on my childhood brain . Who couldn’t resist the acid-washed day-glo colours, the oversized clothes, the nods back to hippie culture and the first summer of love, and chart topping tracks from the likes of D-Mob, S’Express, M/A/R/R/S, Yazz, Farley Jackmaster Funk, 808 State, Bomb The Bass and Stakker Humanoid? When I had a chance to buy my own clothes it would be Joe Bloggs, and I had quite the collection of smiley face badges for a kid not yet a teenager. My own pet theory is that disco never had the impact in the UK that it had in the States, but house music and raving had the same effect of democratising the dancefloor ten years later. A large piece of the puzzle was of course the arrival of a new drug called “ecstasy” (actually only made illegal in the UK in 1985), which when combined with the powerful filter sweeps of a TB303 can give the user incredible head rushes. It was this new drug and its implications that seemed to worry the authorities the most.

This great documentary from the BBC’s World in Action strand is like a full blown acid house flashback. Broadcast in 1988 at height of acid house fever, it follows the typical weekend rituals of a group of very young fans, tracks the working life of an illegal party promoter, speaks to some of the producers of the music and charts the the then-growing moral panic which surrounded the scene and its copious drug taking. Raving, and acid house, had a huge (if subtle) effect on British culture, bringing people together in new, democratised contexts free of class and social boundaries, opening people’s ears up to a new world of music and opening their minds to new ideas.

A Trip Round Acid House makes for very interesting viewing at a time when Murdoch Inc and News International stand accused of distorting facts to suit their own means. The program gives a fairly detailed description of how The Sun newspaper did an about face on acid house, going from being supporters of this new youth culture (even selling their own acid house branded t-shirts to decrying it as an outrage that needed to be banned (and as such sold more papers). Some of the other footage here is priceless too, and has popped up on the internet in other forms, such as the classic reaction of two old cockney dears to the description of a typical “rave”. Blimey!

Parts 2 & 3 after the jump…

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Epic cuddle puddle: E-tards rolling and thizzing on whiffle dust

Man these folks are spangled to the gills. Jaws are gurning, teeth grinding, eyes bugging and rolling in this security camera video from a 1991 rave in Doncaster, England.

I get a surge of dopamine just watching this thing.

The DJ that uploaded the video to Youtube says it’s edited down from four hours of footage. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the uncut DVD boxset.

Meet you in the K-hole.

Via Funkagenda

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment