Rave-pop iconoclasts the KLF have released their greatest hits on to streaming services and YouTube for the first time, and have hinted at further music to follow later this year.
An eight-track collection entitled Solid State Logik 1 has been released today, including 1988 No 1 novelty single Doctorin’ the Tardis, 1991 UK No 1 dance anthem 3am Eternal, and the Top 5 hits Last Train to Trancentral and America: What Time is Love? also released that year.
Also included are It’s Grim Up North, their earlier hit version of What Time is Love, Tammy Wynette collaboration Justified & Ancient, and the studio version of the hardcore punk take on 3am Eternal that they infamously performed at the Brit awards with the band Extreme Noise Terror in 1992.
The group, featuring Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty plus guest musicians, split up in spectacular fashion later that year. After their Brits performance an announcer stated “the KLF have left the music business”, and they left a dead sheep on the steps of the afterparty with a note reading: “I died for you.” In May 1992, they deleted their entire catalogue and in 1994 they burned a million pounds they had earned with the group in a performance art happening on the Scottish island of Jura.
This is the first time their music has been officially available since in the UK; US listeners could previously access a compilation called The Works, though this has now been deleted.
Posters put up in London suggest that there will be a second part of the Solid State Logik release, as well as four other reissue releases, under the overall title Samplecity Thru Trancentral. The other four “non-consecutive chapters” are entitled Kick-Out D’Jams, Pure Trance Series, Come Down Dawn and Moody Boys Selected. The releases will feature material released under the names the KLF, the JAMs, the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, and the Timelords, and, it is promised, “there will be out-takes”.
The group released four studio albums and various compilations and singles during their lifetime, with Cauty concurrently making music in the Orb.
Drummond and Cauty focused on visual and performance art in the wake of the KLF, and occasionally collaborated on other projects. They returned to the richly imagined world of the KLF – full of numerology and mythic figures – in 2017 under the name Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, publishing a novel, 2023: A Trilogy, and staging a three-day festival of events and talks in Liverpool.
They also announced a new yearly tradition, Toxteth Day of the Dead, where bricks fired with the ashes of people who have died that year (and bought into the scheme) are built into a pyramid that will eventually number 34,592 bricks.