Review by DjBatman|
4 stars out of 4
The KLF ("also known as the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, furthermore
known as The Jams") may have "left the music business" as
they declared years ago after their last memorable performance under
this alias, but Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty keep reappering here and
there with different things (as One World Orchestra on the "Help"
album in 1994, as 2K in 1997, writing or inspiring (art?) books,
spreading rumors of absurd projects of new artistic/terroristic actions
on the Internet (and/or inspiring people to spread rumors on spurious
Jams releases), contributing/remixing other acts). Anyway this album
remains fundamental for a serious record collection whether you're into
pop music, post-techno or electronica.
"The White Room" contains all the massive "Stadium house"
KLF tracks: a rap version of their 1988 trance classic "What time is
love?", "3 A.M. Eternal" and "Last train to
Trancentral" plus a version of "Justified and ancient"
performed by male vocalist Black Steel (this song evolved from "Hey
hey we're not the Monkees", an older Jams track whose chorus also
resurfaces in The KLF's ambient masterpiece "Chill Out", and
later reworked adding the vocals of the Queen of Country, Tammy Wynette).
But the lesser known tracks are excellent, too: "Make it rain"
is a fave of mine, with Maxine Harvey's sweet vocals flowing along Tony
"Moody Boyz" Thorpe's breaks. P.P.Arnold screams "Take me
to the Church of The KLF" opening a sort of calm intro before the
storm of "Last train to Trancentral". Also noted: Black
Steel's scat singing on the title track; "No more tears" which
is often used by ragga dj's thanks also to the King Tubby trumpet line;
the infamous MC5 "Kick out the jams" sample; the Twin Peaks-ish
"Build a fire" (the KLF seem obsessed with the concept: their
"1987" album had to be withdrawn and burnt because of copyright
infringments and they also had a track called "Burn the bastards";
plus, in 1994 the lyrics "they're gonna build a fire" became
reality when Rockman Rock and Kingboy D burnt one million quid (!) on
the island of Jura. Other legendary contributors include rappers Isaac
Bello and Ricardo Lyte (aka Ricardo Da Force later known for his appearances
with dance act N-Trance with whom he reworked the Bee
Gees'"Stayin'alive"), Cressida Cauty (Jimmy's wife), Manda of
Beatmasters (one of the first UK groups leading the house revolution in
the late 80's). Bill Drummond once declared he didn't like pop music
because it has been around for so much time. Yet the KLF managed to
discover and reveal the pop formula (that was so obvious that no one had
discovered it before) and put together a collection of hits that was
also one of the finest albums of the 90's.
P.S.: The KLF deleted their whole back catalogue when they disbanded
around 1992; this disc is still can still be found in the American
edition which includes as a bonus the "Justified & ancient"
single (including Tammy Wynette's version which is not on the album).
I think Dj Batman kicks ass.