The KLF & The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu
Come Down Dawn
The KLF – and the Timelords and The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu and all the affiliates – long ago deleted their entire catalogue. They also burned a million pounds and filmed it. So, you know. This strange, brilliant duo made some of the most hypnotically affecting music of the late 80 and early 90 – bringing the club to the charts, taking the charts to the club, bringing the fringes to the mainstream and taking the mainstream back to the fringes. And then – silence. Perhaps the very best performance art.
Well 2021 is the year of rebirth for the KLF and KLF Communications – the brand is reissuing its catalogue for the streaming world, albeit via a series of new compilations.
First cab off the rank was the hits, the big anthems and big-ticket items, the pop hits that were borne from the dance-world.
And now the group’s influential ambient record, Chill Out, comes back – though in a slightly different form.
Re-released as Come Down Dawn this version of Chill Out has some of the sample stripped – 1990 was the last moment in the seeming free-for-all where samples ran uncleared. So no Elvis voice this time. Eagle-eyed or bat-eared listeners will spot differences of course but for the uninitiated this is a great introduction to a seminal album. If you were ever crowing on about this to someone – and then couldn’t find a copy to complete the introduction you can worry no more. Your friend probably moved on long ago and feels they dodged a bullet but you can go full anorak on them and even point out what’s missing. Fun dinner-party game!
Pedal steel guitars and throat singing combined here for one of the most wonderful early-AM listening experiences – in my life it bridged the gap so perfectly between the Eno and Lanois and Harld Budd collaborations and the DJ mix albums by the likes of Sasha and John Digweed. Like a missing puzzle-piece it arrived and became a forever-favourite. Now it’s back, in a brand new shape. As the band, erm, explains:
Come Down Dawn was released on the 4th of February 2021.
Come Down Dawn is a Drive by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu.
A Drive is a journey in the head.
The Drive took them from the Reverend Doctor Wade’s tabernacle in Brooklyn, New York to the Mesoamerican Pyramids near Mexico City.
The Drive lasted just over a period of 43 hours.
The Drive ended as dawn began to break on Sunday the 4th of February 1990
Come Down Dawn by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu is also a pre-mix of Chill Out released by The KLF on the 5th of February 1990.
Come Down Dawn was released the day before Chill Out, but 31 years later.
All tracks were recorded live at Trancentral in late 1989 by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, featured guests include Evil Graham Lee on the pedal steel guitar, the Unknown Tuvan Shepherd on throat singing and the Reverend Doctor Wade on spiritual guidance.