This is primarily a blog about cinema, film and tv, so if we’re going to send you down a musical rabbit-hole, it better be in service of something monumental. It’s 2021, and the return of the KLF to our depleted world is an unheralded cultural event of epoch-splitting proportions. I’ll leave it to others to document the rise and disappearance of one of the UK’s most striking, avant-garde dance-music sensations, but viewed from the pandemic trenches, this is truly something worth raising your pulse for.
Founding-members Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty’s band were enigmatic purveyors of the most propulsive of dance music; single tracks like 3am Eternal and What Time Is Love topped the charts, and filled floors in nightclubs. But there was no album to be promoted, unless you count the luxurious The White Room, an ambient soundscape which contained only the vaguest vestiges of the same sounds remixed. The KLF reportedly burned the money they made, and their idea of utilising awards recognition was to fire a dead sheep at the BRIT awards venue. Their music and their videos were deliberately made unavailable, they took their ball and their vibe with them, and now, three decades later, they’re back.
Of course, YouTube and Spotify weren’t even imagined at the time, but if 2021’s lack of organised parties and death of festivities are getting you down, multiple doses of the KLF’s hard-rocking f**k-off sound should raise your immunity to the current death and destruction around us. With hugely expensive, silent movie inspired videos, there’s plenty to enjoy here visually; their final coup de grace was a duet with the great Tammy Wynette on Justified and Ancient, showcased below, although it’s also great to hear their riff on the Dr Who Theme, accompanied by some non-BBC affiliated Daleks and a cool customised 5-0 car.
The KLF broke the mould of music, and left a hole through which absolutely no-one followed by driving their own coach and horses through. Others lusted after fame and money, but the KLF courted notoriety, and immortality, and their absence has been noted by fans for years. With no clubs, raves or even sitting in cafes possible in the foreseeable future, it’s time to kick out the jams, make mine a 99, and starting fishing in the rivers of life. 2021 is better than 2020 already, and we’re only one day in…bring the beat back!