An impressionist soundtrack to an overnight drive through the Deep South of America, Chill Out is clever, surreal and always accessible...Elvis Presley's "In The Ghetto", silky pedal-steel guitar, a ranting evangelist and Mongolian throat singing are all wrapped in layers of electronic tones and effects to create a dislocated, dreamlike experience that tastefully recalls the early experiments of Pink Floyd.

artist:
The KLF

country of origin:
UK

style(s):
Ambient house/techno, psychedelia

decades active:
90's

essential releases:

  • Chill Out (1990, Wax Trax)

Reviewed by Mike G

They made some great dance music, behaved like avant-garde terrorists, and in a parting gesture seemingly burned a million UK pounds of their own money before the cameras and told us it was all a joke.

The now-defunct KLF - a UK collective of musicians/pranksters headed by Jim Cauty and Bill Drummond - was best known for it's quirky dance singles (the million-selling hits "What Time Is Love" and "Justified And Ancient") and outrageous conceptual stunts. What is less known about the pair, however, is that through their association with the likes of DJ Alex PatersonĀ their album Chill Out (1990) helped turn the ears of the dance music crowd towards ambient strains of house, dub and techno and eventually the formation of Paterson's own group The Orb.

An impressionist soundtrack to an overnight drive through the Deep South of America, Chill Out is clever, surreal and always accessible. The array of samples and sounds used are madly diverse: Elvis Presley's "In The Ghetto", silky pedal-steel guitar, a ranting evangelist, Mongolian throat singing. It's all wrapped in layers of electronic tones and effects to create a dislocated, dreamlike experience that tastefully recalls the early experiments of Pink Floyd. The album cover, by the way, is a none-too-subtle reference to the Floyd's 1970 pastoral opusĀ Atom Heart Mother.

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