Artist....: The KLF
Title.....: The white room
Rel. Date.: 1991
Type/Genre: ambient dance
1. What Time Is Love?
2. Make It Rain
3. 3 A.M Eternal (Live at the S.S.L)
4. Church of the KLF
5. Last Train to Transcentral (Live From The Lost Continent)
6. Build A Fire
7. The White Room
8. No More Tears
9. Justified and Ancient
The KLF were without doubt one of the most important bands of the last twenty years- they had a profound effect on dance music in the 1990s, and were the first to use the now-household names "chill-out" and "trance". Between summer 1990 and spring 1992 they also held the UK charts hostage with a string of top 5 hits. They were the spear-head of the rave scene, igniting clubs and dominating the pop world.
So what's the KLF all about? Well this album perfectly illustrates their influential "stadium-house" sound. Big booming tracks with strong beats, catchy melodoies and strong vocals, which were generally massively over-produced. The choruses are catchy, the raps are smooth and the beats can get you dancing. This has aged a lot better than most of the dance music out at the time. The four singles are:
What Time Is Love?- A thumping track with a strong melody and beat, their break-through hit is more dance-floor focused than the other singles. Look out for the cheeky MC5 sample. Sadly, the album is missing the KLF's last single- the fantastic America: What Time is Love? rework of this track with rock guitars and a brilliantly reworked chorus. I found the CD single on eBay and it's well worth looking out for.
3AM Eternal- Soulful break-beat house with a very strong female vocal (KLF ah-hah ah-hah). This is great cruising music when you're in the car (see the video)
Last Train to Trancentral- Futuristic sounding, with a cool synth line and loads of vocalists doing very litte. Sounds like early trance.
Justified & Ancient- Slightly over-represented- the last 5 tracks on the CD are the included EP of this. You get the original album version with a male vocalist, a version with a female vocalist, the radio version with Tammy Wynette (and it's 12" mix) and a remix. The original is pretty weak, but the lively radio version is a lot more interesting, and the long version is the best, as it's heavier on the rapping.
Apart from the singles, the other tracks are generally slow, vocal chill-out that's very listenable. They make a good break between the fast singles and give the album a lot of variation.
So what's to say? This is a cracking album. It's dancy in places, chilled in others, and fantastically produced throughout. The lyrics are pretty pointless, most of them doing little more than advertising the Justified Ancients of Mu-Mu (but then, the whole album was tongue-in cheek). It's good to play when you're not really listening, it's good to play in the car when you're driving, it's good to play when people are round and it goes down well everywhere. Even my mum likes these tracks, which is testament to their appeal.