The KLF – Chill Out (1990)

February 3, 2011

1990’s “Chill Out” attempts to be an aural tour guide from Brownsville, Texas to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and on to the 1990’s. Well, that’s what the track titles indicate. Chill Out (1990) was recorded live at the Trancentral studio by The KLF. During their trip, they introduce the listener to the imagined sounds of “Elvis on the Radio”, “Wichita Lineman”, and… sheep.

Other sounds you’ll meet during this trip are the KLF’s own “Justified & Ancient” theme, a call for all aboard to “Mu-Mu Land”, a radio broadcast of a 17 year old motorcyclist who never came home, and an offer to “come back fat as a rat all along the east coast”, and a special phone number for you to call.

You’ll here what I describe as “space country” in the 7:41 epic “Madrugada Eterna”, slide guitar with delay and chorus, similar to that found on the song “Deep Blue Day” on Eno’s Apollo album from 6 years prior. The slide guitar here is a bit more space than country, but I find it just as cosmic. “Madrugada Eterna” is a wonderful experience that can take you to places other than planet Earth.

One of my favorite sounds on this album are the long heavenly drones, often moving back and forth in the mix, between the sheep, the trains, the jets, the radio, and Elvis. The drone is everywhere along the trip, giving the listener a sort of “whole new take on the day”. “Chill Out” leaves me wishing that the trip will never end.

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