Saturday, February 19, 2011

The KLF - The White Room (1991)

The KLF. The Ancients of MuMu. The JAMs. Whatever you wish to call them or they wish to call themselves it does not matter. What can I say about this album that hasn’t already been said a hundred times over by a hundred other bloggers before me? It’s the most punk rock rave record ever conceived. The whole concept behind the album and what they did with the money as an artistic/philosophical/political statement is just unprecedented and no one has come even remotely close to doing anything so ambitious or absurd since. For those that aren’t aware, the idea was to systematically create a hit record (which they succeeded in doing, and Bill Drummond even wrote a manifesto of sorts on how to do it entitled, simply, “The Manual”), then burn all of the money they made off of its record sales in a fire and video tape the event, which subsequently became a short film/documentary entitled “The KLF Burn a Million Quid.” Its pure fucking genius and not only that but the most ballsy statement anyone could possibly consider making – and they made it.

Most importantly, beyond all of this, the album itself is fantastic. They picked a genre that was popular during a certain period of time and just hit the ball out of the park. The quality of the craftsmanship on The White Room surpasses any other early 90s techno/house release by a mile. They essentially copycatted their peers and did so much better than the “real” acts in doing so. You can put this album on and jam out to some truly awesome electronic music, with undertones (such as “Build a Fire”) that hint at the purpose behind it, making it that more of a piece of art work. So, in the end, you’re not just listening to a singular recording of a collection of songs, rather, something much grander in scope.

Bill Drummond has since said publicly that he somewhat regrets burning the money (which wasn’t a petty amount), and that is kind of saddening because it sort of takes away from the powerful nature of the act. However, despite potential regrets, they did something truly remarkable and unique that has yet to be surpassed, and that’s the important part. They just did it; something 99% of the world’s population would deem stupid or crazy, and they had a valid reason for doing it. I personally think it’s one of the biggest "fuck you’s" to global capitalism that’s ever been given and for that alone the record is worth downloading. But like I said, it’s a damn fine record to boot. If you don’t have this in your collection, I mean it – no ifs, ands, or buts – proceed straight to the link below and start downloading immediately. This album will one day be recognized as one of the greatest works of art in modern music. Until then, enjoy it on the many levels it was meant to be enjoyed: as an album consisting of 9 songs, lasting just over 44 minutes; but also, as something more, something grandiose and monumental. "3AM Eternal"

Rating: 10/10


The fact that there are 55 "dislikes" for this video on youtube is an abomination, a travesty. Somebody hunt these heretics down and slice their Achilles tendons with a butcher's knife.

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