Monday, June 24, 2013

C is for "Chill Out"

Chill Out is an album from 1990 by the KLF. The KLF comprised Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty and were best known for their big dance hit singles - 'What Time Is Love?' '3AM Eternal', 'Last Train to Trancentral' and so on, as well as 'Doctorin' the TARDIS' (recorded as the Timelords). Chill Out is not like that. Instead it is a record of ambient music, possibly the first ever example of what became known as ambient house. The album takes the splice and dice approach of sample-tastic house music but instead of putting the results to a dancefloor beat we are given largely beatless enveloping sounds. I think the idea is that you listen to this while engaging in relaxing pursuits or perhaps while falling asleep.

The album is vaguely conceived as a night journey across the western United States, with nods to old-timey Americana (steel guitar features) and appearances by Elvis Presley and random voices, as though they had just popped up on the radio. There are also the sounds of sheep and even some very down tempo performances of KLF hits, together with things of a bucolic and pastoral nature pillaged from sound effects records. It is all very atmospheric and it continues to be a record to which I listen over and over.


B is for Baader Meinhof

A is for "After Murder Park", by the Auteurs

image source

An inuit panda production

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