File under : generic electronic boops
The White Room is the fourth and final studio album by British electronic music group The KLF, released on 3 March 1991. The album features versions of the band's hit singles, including "What Time Is Love?", "3 a.m. Eternal", and "Last Train to Trancentral". Originally scheduled for 1989 as the soundtrack to a film of the same name, the album's direction was changed after both the film and the original soundtrack LP were cancelled. Most tracks on the original album version are present in the final 1991 release, though in significantly remixed form. The White Room was supposed to be followed by a darker, harder complementary album The Black Room, but that plan was abandoned when the KLF retired in 1992. On 23 April 2021, a re-edited version of the album was officially released on streaming platforms, in a series of digital reissues, as The White Room (Director's Cut), featuring new edits of original tracks from 1989–1990 sessions. In a retrospective review of the album, John Bush of AllMusic said that The White Room "represents the commercial and artistic peak of late-'80s acid-house." Franklin Soults stated in the 2004 Rolling Stone Album Guide that on The White Room, "the KLF became what they'd mocked with this enduring embrace of Euro-trash club culture. They knew their exit cue."
File under : generic electronic boops
Did not enjoy, another British electronica album
Glenn Hoddle and the entire Chelsea first team and backroom staff jizzed all over my hair and back as I sang this record in the shower after every training session. Good memories.
Hard to get on streaming, but there's the odd serviceable playlist cobbling this together from the stuff they released back onto services a couple of years ago after a far too long absence. One of the most interesting stories of any band ever, surely. There is an absolutely essential John Higgs book about them and their influences (occult, dadaist, conspiracies - the story of how the popularised concept of the Illuminati as an all powerful shadowy organisation was essentially invented as a joke then took on a life of its own, is mad in itself). The fact they blew out of obscurity, topped the charts with apparent ease for a couple of years as a kind of joke/art project and then fucked off again, signing a pact to never use the name again and deleting all of their records. The music, I see plenty of baffled Americans here in the reviews. I guess you had to be there. It's commercial house. But at the time when it blew on the scene I just remember thinking, What Is That Noise And Where Can I Get More Of It? I still think last train, 4am eternal and what time is love are bangers. But the real star here is Justified Ancients. You must watch the video. An absolute classic tune. Just pure joy. Problem is I don't think the version I love is the one on the album. The single version is the one. Bring the beat back! That notwithstanding this is obviously getting a 5. These are two Scottish guys who convinced Tammy Wynette to appear on their record and sing the words "they're justified, and they're ancient, and they drive an ice cream van" on top of the pops.
I remember the name of this band but am pretty unfamiliar with them. I can remember a line like "KLF, uh-huh uh-huh". Electronica, probably UK. Hey lol they *are* from the UK. It's... boring. It feels like a sample bank with 808 beats underneath - which is what it is of course, but that's just not something very interesting. Especially not in 2023. 2/5.
it’s love from the first song!
Sweet sweet subversion
Absolutely brilliant stuff. Is it right to give it 5 stars, though, if the Directors' Cut version is even better?
Really good. Directors cut included a few more tracks, will definitely listen again
Best electronic album on here so far
Not as good as I remembered from car rides with my dad.
Bill Drummond put Fondness on his exhibition’s playlist. But not to fuck the scoring I’ll give it 4.
Can't argue with the KLF
Loved this album. Shame it’s not on Spotify
Probably one of those instances of "you had to be there at the time to understand". That said, if really you need just *one* example of what a early nineties eurodance version of a rave party should sound like in this list of essential albums, *The White Room* is your best bet here--even if, more than eurodance, what we have here has layers of opportunistic cultural recycling that were actually very British, and so contrasting a lot with those other Italian or German cheesy dance acts around 1990. See the wealth of samples used here, with or without permission: so many winks to popular music of all stripes that it's easy to lose count, from that sample of MCS's "Kick Out The Jams" to this bassline nicked from the Twin Peaks title theme on trip-hop-like "Build A Fire". Here is a concern for richness, invention and callbacks to music history that low-brow outfits such as Technotronic, 2Unlimited or Snap! would never reach for even one second of their equally short career. So if you stick to what is usually expected from that often maligned genre of popular dance music from thirty years ago, there's no denying that The KLF were masters of their game. Every track on the first side may have all the clichés of that UK Dance Club thing, sure, yet they are so effective that you may feel inclined to bob your head to them, as "dated" as some of those shenanigans are. "What Time Is Love" and "3AM Eternal" are the most striking examples of such an effective way to rob the charts in 1991 and yet still manage to win hearts in 2023 (in a genre that supposedly never ages well, i.e. EDM). Too bad that the version of "Last Train To Trancentral" on the same first side is a more subdued remix compared to the equally slapping single version--as good as this remix is. Had this single version, filled with an orgy of vocoder-laden vocal parts, been included on this side, you'd have a perfect first part for this record. What will probably go over the head of most listeners is that Bill Drummond and James Cauty were also very sly foxes as artists and "high concept" creators. They first wrote a book about how to hit the charts from the underground *before* managing to do so for real with the singles from this album. Quite a feat that they held their promises against all odds...but it's not even the most interesting part of the picture. See for example what they did with all the money they earned after they hit those charts--it might be a huge surprise for you, either a pleasant or an unpleasant one, depending on your mileage. But before they burnt all those piles of dough to the ground--yes, you read that correctly--they also managed to: - create many fake bands to broadcast their music. - instill a very "situationist" brand of irony to "dance" music that acts like Gang Of Four could only dream of when they injected funk basslines to their post-punk agenda ten years before. - Record a classic electronic "chill-out" LP named... well, *Chill Out*--which actually inspired a lot of melodies and arrangements in *The White Room*. - Erase the lines between high art and blatant commercialism, or the ones between "good taste" and "bad taste". That last point is the most prophetic of their endeavors, foretelling the success of many later acts going from Daft Punk and LCD Soundsystem to more recent strands of hyperpop such as Charli XCX, Sophie, 100 gecs or crazy pop-post-hardcore outfit The Armed. I have a feeling that this recent hyperpop craze, as weird and probably promised to failure as it is, is not so far from rehabilitating The KLF. Only time will tell. But if such rehabilitation happens, I reckon it's gonna happen very soon at least--before the wheel turns again, which is always sooner than later. All this is fine, but what really saves this album from all those tired tropes about music cycles and "turning wheels" is its far more ambient second side, with all its groovy, cinematic-yet-lvery-aidback cuts such as the title track or "No More Tears". Those songs are stellar, enough said. Subtly layered and subdued and sounding like nothing else, whether at the time or today. Concluding the proceedings, the mock-Las-Vegas-novelty cut "Justified and Ancient" returns to the layers of irony of the first side, but this time with an extra grain of salt. What if Drummond and Caulty were actually serious here? Us poor sheep will probably never know. All that"s left for us to do is to take that Trancentral Train to the promises of a future of dance music that never really occured--at least not in that exact shape--but one that could still occur yet, if you listen to this the right way. *The White Room* has always had a somewhat nostalgic feel to its rave party antics--a clearly melancholic subtext if you listen to its arrangements an flourishes--and such subtext made it age far better then many other supposed EDM highlights of the same day and age. Not so bad for a record whose sound is supposedly "dated", at least on first sight. 4/5 for the purposes of this list, translating to a 9/10 grade for more general purposes (5+4). Number of albums left to review: 419 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 269 (including this one). Albums from the list might* include in mine later on: 142 Albums from the list I won't include in mine (many others are more essential to me): 176
Some great electronic, and interestingly showed some roots of modern electronic I did not expect.
This was really excellently produced, it still sounded so fresh and interesting that you could have told me it would have came out last year and I would have believed you. At least, until we get to the absolutely DATED and ill-fitting vocals. If this was instrumental it would be an easy 5 for me, but with those vocals it is barely clinging to 4 stars.
Caveat, I only listened to the director's cut in Spotify but I had never heard them before being put off by their antics. I expected it to be unlistenable noise terrorism but it was like New Order and even Pet Shop Boys and Bronski Beat in parts. Good stuff
8/10. This album was actually a lot of fun! Usually predisposed to dislike the albums that make me leave spotify, but well worth it in this case.
Música electrónica, acid house. Me ha gustado. Un 4.
I listened to the Spotify version and thought it got off to a good start, but I really couldn't see what all the excitement was about. After reading the the Wiki overview it appears that the two lead singles on the LP were not included on the Spotify version. That makes a big difference! They're great tracks that capture the late 80s club sound.
- imagine this bumping in a European club - appropriate song lengths - really enjoyed the vibes here
Interesting given the time period. I would have placed this later in time if I didn't see the release date. The face it was from 2 years earlier is interesting.
Listened to about half of it. Never heard of this band or album before seeing it here. Not exactly my thing but not bad.
Moest er wat moeite voor doen om dit te luisteren en ik vond het boven verwachting. Hier zit toch wel meer in dan het top 40 imago wat ze voor mij hadden.
Not my type of music.
considering how much the guardian bum these as if they're some forward thinking enigmas i expected more from this album.
Okay, so this album feels very dated. It's still great and all, but the KLF always felt like five star ideas with less than five star execution. I could read the Manual or Illuminati MuMu craziness forever, but the albums are almost a side concern!
An earthquake of chill.
I was reluctantly preparing for another terrible British electronica album but I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit. Disclaimer: I listened to the director's cut version of it because it was the only version available on spotify, so I'm assuming it's the version the KLF wanted everyone to hear. I was wondering what made this one so different from all the other Eurotrash that I've heard (even though this is still pretty eurotrashy) and I realized that this is basically the unironic version of the Planet of the Bass song that took over twitter for like a week. The best tracks like build a fire and no more tears have boring whatever male vocals and a standard dance sound until some female comes in (Biljiana Electronica) and makes it really catchy and fun by belting out some vague thing about unity. "they're gonna build a fire" might as well be "all of the dream, how does it mean?" and it completely justified this album being good for me.
Un album très intéressant. J'ai trouvé que c'est vraiment parti en force mais vers la fin c'était un peu trop doux à mon goût. Mais généralement un album electronic très bien construit et rafraichissant. 7/10
Build a Fire!
Very fine and not terrible and not remarkable at all
I bought this album when it came out - only because of Justified & The Ancient which was a massive hit being played everywhere. I never made it through the whole album then, and this listen through some 20+ years later was no different. Once again, the author(s) put region over importance with this list and it feels like every new day is a 50/50 gamble over whether I'll hit with another 90s UK pop or electronic album that barely registered on its release. 2.5/5.
About as good as electronic music got. Unfortunately, this spawned way too many imitators who sound watered down in comparison. But hey, if you can cut and paste from various streaming platforms, you can listen to most of this. I ended up enjoying most of it, but I can't swear to the fact that all of the songs I listened to were from the album in question. Seems appropriate.
Truth be told, I like the artist's story more than the music. It's good, it just all sounds dated in that way that anyone who even looked at a keyboard between 1988-1992 does. Has lulls, and also that dated way of "rapping" a lot of artists in this genre would use, but it's fine overall. Favorite track: "Last Train to Trancentral"
Not on Spotify so listened on YouTube, enjoyed this good dance album
Teringvet! Heb een paar nummers opgeslagen ook. Echt heel lekker en zijn accent is echt top
Electronic music is the genre I know the least about as far as the history of it, so I can't really tell if this was ahead of it's time or anything like that. There's some fun songs on here overall, kind of falls off towards the end though especially with the 10 minute song that didn't need to be half that length. Was pleasant enough of a listen, but I doubt i'll be going back to it anytime soon.
It’s never a great sign when there are multiple conflicting tracklists for an album… Anyway. I tried out what seemed to be the two main singles from the Solid State Logik 1 live recording (What Time is Love? and 3am Eternal) - didn’t care for the first one so much but the latter was pretty fun I then listened through to the directors cut of The White Room and, while it’s not really my thing, I cannot deny the production was incredible throughout. I also enjoyed the spoken-word passages in a lovely Scottish accent, though I also feel I have to call out the shameless appropriation of the Twin Peaks theme on the otherwise quite nice Build a Fire
Scentless optimism is par for the course. There's something else to the White Room experience, not discordant nor even unsettling but uncentering. Sound thrown outward, without frills but with some level of interior. The palette's easily harvested; The original remains nourishing.
Listening to this at 9 AM probably isn't the ideal why to do so. I'll retry at 3 AM in a crowded club some years from now. 3/5
oontz PLUS/ 3 stars.
Feels like Prodigy, but worse. All the siren loops, too much cowbell, like if the Matrix was made 10 years earlier. Shitty 90s electronica. If I had some speed or E maybe. Gets better further in but only made it through half.
not on Spotify
It’s fine. That’s about it.
The beginning of this kind of made me feel like I was having a panic attack, but I kind of liked it anyway? Then it got less chaotic and more chill and became a bit boring in comparison to how it started.
why isn’t it online (penisville)
Yet another mid album. I’m not sure if I listened to the right one because there a sixty different track lists for this album. I listened to the Director’s Cut. I liked “No More Tears” and “Justified and Ancient”
Again, Apple are unable to give me the original album and I must listen to the Director's Cut whatever that is. Regardless, I do understand the cultural significance KLF have made and for sure they are more creative and less basic than 80% of the music industry. That said, I never really bought into their music as something to take seriously, because for me, frivolity has no place in music for some reason. So maybe I'm still reeling from the novelty abomination that is 'Doctorin' The Tardis' and probably have completely missed a point somewhere but even a relisten just now, has not further endeared their music to me
Ni una sola canción disponible en Spotify. No se puede opinar.
This is a fun album with a diverse sound that is in many ways very much of its time. Stylistically a bit of a hodgepodge, but that pedal steel in "Build a Fire" was a nice surprise. In fact, the album has a number of lovely little surprises like that. As someone whose main awareness of KLF was by way of "3 a.m. Eternal," this was not at all what I expected, and really enjoyable. Fave Songs: Build a Fire, Last Train to Trancentral, The White Room, No More Tears, 3 a.m. Eternal
Always good for me to listen to some electronic music because I pretty much never listen to it on my own. This has some interesting and well-executed elements to it. Some lovely instrumental work and really good vocals, too. Nice stuff.
Heard of them and I know the a couple of the songs. But first time hearing the album. Standouts: 3 a.m. Eternal, What Time if Love? Justified and Ancient, Last Train to Trancentral 3/5
Kinda didn't mind it.
I’m disappointed that this made the cut instead of their 1990 Chill Out record which is one of my all-time favourite “found sound” and electronic/ambient albums. I can listen to Chill out over and over and never tire of it for some reason. The music on this album OTOH is pretty typical of the era, just bog standard Acid House music. I would give this two stars but Chill out would get four, so I’ll split the difference here.
The trance was fun and unusual but other than a few songs it was nit so interesting
- This album was fun and had some funky sounds - Lots of electronic albums recently - Appreciated that it wasn't 2 hours long
One of the better bleepy-bloopy albums I've listened to. Kind of sounds like the soundtrack for an old racing game at times. Not very exciting, but I've had so much fucking garbage from this genre that it's nice to remember that not all 90s British electronica sounds like a toddler playing with FL Studio presets. Also thank you for not being 2 hours long. Still recovering from that 140 minutes long Roni Size album.
Very bad, strange, and unpleasant. Not sure how anyone could enjoy listening to this.
If someone asked me what I thought the 80's were like since I wasn't born, this album is what I feel the 80's was. Just the general vibe and sound. It's just funny to me.
Mijn broer had deze CD ooit, toen wel veel gedraaid, maar inmiddels moeilijk door te komen.
Not really an electronica fan
Oh look more british euro trash shit. Gets one extra star for nostalgia. 2/5
Fun fact: Ainsley Harriott listens to this in the bath.
This is brit trance/electro music. Super repetitive and not very good.
Just not really my style.
Much like an actual house, house music doesn't age well. "3AM Eternal" grates at any hour, truly. "No More Tears" has just a touch of humanity to it, as does the cut with the slide guitars. That's the only warmth on an otherwise clinical and wildly over-programmed effort, which, despite all its aggressive reaching for excitement, reads pretty damn dull.
I know it's not rational, but it bothers me when the Brits pronounce "tacos" like "tack-ohs." Have some g.d. respect. Best track: Church of the KLF
Primeiro me pareceu como algo do Pet Shop Boys, depois ficou sendo como algum disco das 7 mais da jovem pam.
Not a big fan.
KLF were incredibly big at the time through their singles, then they disappeared - pulled their records away from public access - and then, decades later, decided to come back into the same consciousness that already forgot all about them. Anyway, KLF were never an album's band, they were an MTV band. The singles' versions are so much better than the album versions, I don't understand why they even bothered with an album.
I really dislike this stuff, but it wasn't atrocious.
"KLF is gonna rock ya" I remember this from 1991, and it's aged like piss...
I’ve had it up to here with albums that have multiple, significantly different versions. Wikipedia kept talking about What Time Is Love? I kept thinking it was a breakout song from a previous album. No, it’s from The White Room, but not this The White Room. Rather from a different The White Room. I listened to the whole directors cut version not knowing it, somehow, doesn’t have the one song Wikipedia keeps blabbering on about. I listened to What Time Is Love? separately anticipating this great triumph. Nope, it sucks. What am I even listening to anymore? I liked some parts of The White Room (Director’s Cut), namely Madrugada Eterna (Club Mix). For much of the album, I expected Haddaway to break in with “What is love! Baby don’t hurt me!! No more!!!”
In "The White Room," with bad techno, near frustration... The KLF seemed to have trouble making final decisions. What should we call ourselves? What songs should be on this album? On both occasions, they should have made a decision and stuck to it. On the name front, they would have remained The Timeless. Nothing spectacular, but definitely a step up from the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, and when paired with the single "Doctorin' the Tardis" you've got something potentially more interesting than anything on any version of "The White Room." Though that can be hard to sort, because there are at least four different versions of "The White Room," and they are all pretty different. The version I listened to (the 2021 Director's Cut) opened with the awful "Go To Sleep" before a tolerable stretch of early British acid house. But it is clearly early electronica, and as with other offerings on the list, they sound very dated and not nearly the best the genre has to offer. A lot of the second half of the album gets pretty annoying, and it seems likely that listening to another version of the album wouldn't make it any better. And listening to it after seeing our group's comparisons to Haddaway, C&C Music Factory, and Ace of Base? I totally hear it. And it doesn't help.
I was pretty bored by this one. But then again, I am not doing drugs in some European club in the 90's
Not my thing
I wanted to say that this a flawless album. But it's clearly not. The White Room is disjointed, out of place and confused. But that's half the fun of The KLF. Subversion was always more exciting than playing the game. There are some absolute gems on here. The singles are all five star ratings. They sound better in a club, obvs. But I doubt I will get to experience that again. Build A Fire offers a different, darker narrative. KLF continue to fascinate me. I wish they had continued. But that would have led to disappointment. The myth grows ever more as time passes.
Just not very good. 4/10
Not my style, but some enjoyable moments. (Uh-huh-uh)
The sound of the whole album was different than anything I’d heard before, definitely has a unique sound. I didn’t actually enjoy it that much though. 2 stars for originality. It did suck though.
I liked the spoken word bits sonically, but they often felt obnoxiously "deep". Like some self-proclaimed old soul waxing poetic about the meaning of life. This seems to be a weird trend in electronic music specifically. The beats are decent.
Generic electronica with some vocals.
mildly subpar build a fire
Boooo. I didn’t have to hear this.
Early house music. Needed more Martha Wash and electric piano. I’m sure it was impactful in its time but it’s giving Mortal Kombat.
When I told Rach I’d been generated The KLF, she started waiting something about Moo Moo Land. That oddity isn’t in this album, but by icky thump that was a right weird experience being serenaded with that. Songs I already knew: none Favourites: Make It Rain, Build A Fire, Justified & Ancient I listened to this on another commute to work today. It definitely made the journey more fun, although I’m unsure about if I’ll be returning to it again. It somehow managed to be a bit of fun, yet remained fairly unremarkable. There’s not much I really feel I can comment on aside from it being party pop, or something like that. It isn’t bad by any means, and I’d enjoy if it came on the radio, but I wouldn’t seek this out.
Far more intrigued by their story than their sound.
Most of these songs were too repetitive for me. The production sounds cold and impersonal. I was charmed by the inclusion of pedal steel guitar on a couple of the tracks, but perhaps only because it contrasted so starkly with the rest of the instrumentation.
According to the Wikipedia page, this album has some different releases. I'm unsure if I picked the right one. I don't know if I care.