Chill Out is the third studio album by The KLF, released in February 1990 and one of the earliest ambient house concept albums. The music describes a mythical night-time journey to the U.S. Gulf Coast states beginning in Texas and ending in Louisiana.
Chill Out was conceived as a continuous piece of music, with original KLF music interwoven with samples from songs by Elvis Presley, Fleetwood Mac, Acker Bilk, Van Halen, 808 State and field recordings of Tuvan throat singers. Its best known track is "Wichita Lineman Was a Song I Once Heard".
According to KLF member Bill Drummond, the album and album sleeve has "the vibe of the rave scene over here [in the UK]. When we're having the big Orbital raves out in the country, and you're dancing all night and then the sun would come up in the morning, and then you'd be surrounded by this English rural countryside ... we wanted something that kind of reflected that, that feeling the day after the rave, that's what we wanted the music for".
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|Released||5 February 1990|
|The KLF chronology|
Chill Out is a single continuous musical piece having many distinctive sections, each of which either segues into or introduces the next. The album as a whole is a progression, with percussion gradually introduced during the second half. The KLF have stated in interviews that the album was recorded in a 44-minute "live" take in their studio, Trancentral, located in the basement of The KLF member Jimmy Cauty's squat in Stockwell, South London. These took place at both Trancentral and the monthly 'Land of Oz' at London's Heaven nightclub, which involved Cauty and Alex Paterson who at that time worked together under the name The Orb. Said Cauty, "There's no edits on it. Quite a few times we'd get near the end and make a mistake and so we'd have to go all the way back to the beginning and set it all up again". According to Cauty's co-founder of The KLF, Bill Drummond, the album took two days to put together. Record Collector compared The KLF's production method to that of established electronic musicians: "While electronic dinosaurs like Jean Michel Jarre and Klaus Schulze were walling themselves in with banks and banks of synthesizers, computers and electronic gadgetry the KLF were doing the opposite—making a crafted work like Chill Out with the bare necessities of musical survival."
After recording, the duo thought the sound to be evocative of a trip through the American Deep South. Drummond said "I've never been to those places. I don't know what those places are like, but in my head, I can imagine those sounds coming from those places, just looking at the map." The titles of the parts are poetic descriptions—often complete sentences—incorporating statements of time, place and situation along the Gulf Coast journey.
The album has many recurring musical elements, which unify and merge the parts into the collective whole. Common characteristics of most parts include ethereal background synthesizers, the use of echo and pitch bend, samples of nature and transport, and the punctuation of soft synthesizer loops by sudden flourishes of harmonious sound. The Deep South is variously represented using original pedal steel contributions from Graham Lee and emotionally charged samples of US radio broadcasts: an evangelist's sermon, a range of samples of a very intense salesman, and, in "Madrugada Eterna", the detailed news report of a fatal road accident.
Despite the specific US settings, Chill Out is multi-ethnic, its journey taking in pastoral shepherds, Russian broadcasts, Tuvan throat singers ("Dream Time in Lake Jackson"), exotic birds, and an African-sounding original female vocal from The JAMs' 1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?) that later became The KLF's "Justified and Ancient".
Elements of The KLF's "Pure Trance" singles "3 a.m. Eternal" and "Last Train to Trancentral" are brought to the fore during the second half of the album, progressing from the minimalist synths of the opening half. Similarly, samples of other artists' work appear as the composition develops, harmonising with The KLF's original instrumentation.
Parts of the original Trancentral and Land of Oz sessions not used for Chill Out were developed to become The Orb's single "A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules from the Centre of the Ultraworld" and the ambient KLF Communications album Space. There are also several bootleg recordings available with additional versions.
The samples used in Chill Out contribute fundamentally to the character of the composition. In particular, the recurring sampled sound effects of rolling stock and other transport illustrate the journey concept, often during segues between parts of the composition. Many of these effects are taken from the 1987 CD version of Elektra Records' Authentic Sound Effects Volume 2. The tracks used are "Crossing Bells and Horn with Electric Train Pass" and "Short Freight Train Pass", along with processed versions of "F18 Diamond Fly-By", "Dodge Van Starts, Drives Out", and "Surf". Samples of American, British and Russian radio stations are also used, including the BBC pips and a jingle from Tommy Vance's Friday Rock Show on BBC Radio 1: "Rock radio into the nineties and beyond". Some of the more obscure sounds (Tuvan throat singers and Basque shepherds in the Pyrenees) come from the Saydisc Records soundtrack of the 1980s Disappearing World series on Granada TV in the UK. The phrase "Your feeling of helplessness is your best friend, savage" is taken from the 1957 science fiction film The Brain from Planet Arous.
The album features samples of distinctive melodies from the musical recordings of other artists: Elvis Presley's 1969 UK No. 2 single "In the Ghetto", Fleetwood Mac's 1968 UK No. 1 single "Albatross", as well as "Oh Well Part II", and Acker Bilk's 1961 US No. 1 single "Stranger on the Shore" all feature prominently, in each case set to an accompaniment of original music. The composers of these hits receive co-writing credit for "Elvis on the Radio Steel Guitar in My Soul", "3am Somewhere out of Beaumont", and "A Melody from a Past Life Keeps Pulling Me Back" respectively, and the performers are thanked in the Chill Out sleevenotes. Boy George's band Jesus Loves You is also thanked for a sample from the single "After the Love", which features on "3am Somewhere out of Beaumont". Short samples from the Van Halen instrumental "Eruption" emerge throughout the song "A Melody from a Past Life Keeps Pulling Me Back". Shortly after the 2:00 mark of "The Lights of Baton Rouge Pass By", a sample from the theme music of The Big Country can be heard as well as Pacific State by 808 State.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|Spin Alternative Record Guide||9/10|
Ian Cranna of Q, in a review published at the time of the album's release, described Chill Out as an "impressionist soundtrack" whose "spartan but melodic electronic strains ease gently through wide open spaces", and concluded that the album is "both imaginative in itself and successful in inducing a blissed out mood of peace and relaxation (at least at night)." Helen Mead of NME called the album "a riot of running water, birdsong and electronic womb music". Ian McCann of The Face proposed that if the listener is not under the influence of drugs, the album sounds "hopelessly pompous and almost classical."
In a 1994 retrospective review, Q's Andrew Collins described The KLF as "ahead of their time" and added that "the fact that Chill Out was seen largely as a urinary extraction exercise at the time when such sound-painting now shapes young careers lends poignancy to its more balmy yet knowing moments." The Times called the album The KLF's "comedown classic", while John Bush of AllMusic awarded the album five stars and cited it as "one of the essential ambient albums". In an "On Second Thought" review in Stylus Magazine, writer Scott Plagenhoef found Chill Out to be "less a morning after and more the slow awakening to a new day" and an album which "slowly unfolds its charms".
In a 1996 feature, Mixmag named Chill Out the fifth best dance album of all time, citing Jimmy Cauty and Alex Paterson as having "kickstarted" ambient music with their DJ sets at the "seminal" house night "Land of Oz". Dom Philips of Mixmag described Chill Out as "a gorgeous patchwork of sound, noise and melody ... the samples are carefully woven into a beautiful spider's web of sound." Ira Robbins of Trouser Press was less favorable in his assessment of Chill Out, likening it to "an accidental recording of 1970 Pink Floyd sessions during which all the participants have either left or fallen asleep", adding that "it's the pleasantly attenuated soundtrack to a non-existent film that is easily forgotten." In 2008, Pitchfork included "Wichita Lineman Was a Song I Once Heard" in The Pitchfork 500, their list of the 500 greatest songs between 1977 and 2006, and later ranked the track at number 80 in their "Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s" list in 2010.
In July 2004, UK performance collective Popdamage "reconstructed" Chill Out as a live performance at The Big Chill music festival, recreating many of the album's vocal and musical samples live on-stage.
The use of a journey as a unifying musical or conceptual thread featured several times in Cauty and Drummond's work, including The White Room, "Last Train to Trancentral", "Justified and Ancient" and "America: What Time Is Love?". Cauty's Space and The Orb's debut album, The Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld also employ the journey concept.
Sheep, which appear both on the recording of Chill Out and in its sleeve artwork, became a theme of The KLF's output, featuring in the ambient video Waiting, The White Room album artwork, and later — in a macabre gesture — at their controversial appearance at the 1992 Brit Awards ceremony. Drummond credits the sleeve of Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother as providing inspiration for the artwork of Chill Out.
Bill Drummond has documented his affinity for pedal steel and country music, stating that although he has "loved all sorts of music, ... country music is the only music [he's] been totally able to identify with", and declaring: "the weep of a pedal steel guitar is the sound of heartstrings being torn".
In August 1990, the single "What Time Is Love? (Remodelled & Remixed)" was released. It included the ambient house "Virtual Reality Mix", reprising many elements of Chill Out. Elements of Chill Out also featured heavily in The KLF's "UFO Mix" of "It Must Be Obvious" by Pet Shop Boys, released in September 1990.
Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond are credited on the sleeve for "composition, compilation and collation" of the album. The Orb split in April 1990, with Paterson retaining the name. The subsequent release of the ambient Space LP—originally intended to be The Orb's debut album —was credited only to Cauty.
The track listing of Chill Out uses the start- and end-points of the parts, instead of the conventional track numbering system, indicating that the album be treated as a single composition. For the original KLF Communications CD release, the entire album was written to one track.
Air is a French music duo from Versailles, France, consisting of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel.Air's critically acclaimed debut album, Moon Safari, including the track "Sexy Boy," was an international success in 1998. Its follow-up, "The Virgin Suicides," was the score to Sofia Coppola's first movie of the same name. The band has since released the albums 10 000 Hz Legend, Talkie Walkie, Pocket Symphony, Love 2, Le voyage dans la lune and Music for Museum.Ambient house
Ambient house (also called New Age house and sometimes conflated with "chill-out") is a subgenre of house music that first emerged in the late 1980s, combining elements of acid house and ambient music. Tracks in the ambient house genre typically feature four-on-the-floor beat patterns, synth pads, and vocal samples integrated in a style classed as "atmospheric".Bebel Gilberto
Isabel Gilberto de Oliveira (born May 12, 1966), known as Bebel Gilberto, is a Brazilian-American popular singer often associated with bossa nova. She is the daughter of João Gilberto and singer Miúcha. Her uncle is singer/composer Chico Buarque. Gilberto has been performing since her youth in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.COW / Chill Out, World!
COW / Chill Out, World! is the fourteenth studio album by English ambient house duo The Orb. The album was released on 14 October 2016 via the Kompakt label.The album was announced alongside the announcement of a full UK tour taking place between 24 November and 10 December 2016 for their 25th Anniversary celebration of their debut album The Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld after their successful one-off show at the Electric Brixton on 29 July 2016.Chill-out music
Chill-out (shortened as chill; also typeset as chillout or chill out) is a loosely defined form of popular music characterized by slow tempos and relaxed moods. The definition of "chill-out music" has evolved throughout the decades, and generally refers to anything that might be identified as a modern type of easy listening. Some of the genres associated with "chill" include downtempo, classical, dance, jazz, hip hop, world, pop, lounge, and ambient.
The term was originally conflated with "ambient house" and came from an area called "The White Room" at the Heaven nightclub in London in 1989. By playing ambient mixes from sources such as Brian Eno and Mike Oldfield, the room allowed dancers a place to "chill out" from the faster-paced music of the main dance floor. Ambient house became widely popular over the next decade before it declined due to market saturation. In the early 2000s, DJs in Ibiza's Café Del Mar began creating ambient house mixes that drew on jazz, classical, Hispanic, and New Age sources. The popularity of chill-out subsequently expanded to dedicated satellite radio channels, outdoor festivals, and thousands of compilation albums. "Chill-out" was also removed from its ambient origins and became its own distinct genre.
"Chillwave" was an ironic term coined in 2009 for music that could already be described with existing labels such as dream pop. Despite the facetious intent behind the term, chillwave was the subject of serious, analytical articles by mainstream newspapers, and became one of the first genres to acquire an identity online. As on-demand music streaming services grew in the 2010s, a form of downtempo tagged as "lo-fi hip hop" or "chillhop" became popular among YouTube users.Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!
Chill Out, Scooby-Doo! is a 2007 direct-to-DVD animated comedy mystery film, and the eleventh in the Scooby-Doo direct-to-video film series, produced by Warner Bros. Animation (though it used a Hanna-Barbera logo and copyright at the movie's ending) which began in late 2006. It was dedicated to Iwao Takamoto, who died during the making of the film, with a September 4, 2007, release date for the DVD. It was the final direct-to-video Scooby-Doo movie that Joseph Barbera was involved with (but was not dedicated to him; instead, Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale carried a dedication to him).Chill Out (John Lee Hooker album)
Chill Out is a 1995 album by John Lee Hooker featuring Van Morrison, Carlos Santana, Charles Brown, and Booker T. Jones. It was produced by Roy Rogers, Santana and Hooker himself, and executive produced by Mike Kappus. Tracks 1 to 11 were recorded and mixed at Russian Hill Recording, San Francisco and The Plant, Sausalito, California. The album reached No.3 in the US Blues chart and was awarded a W. C. Handy Award for Traditional Blues Album of the Year.Chill Out Zone (EP)
Chill Out Zone is an extended-play by UK grime artist Wiley, released independently on 12 July 2011 for free digital download. Two singles were released in preparation for the album: "Seduction" featuring Alexa Goddard and "If I Could" featuring Ed Sheeran.Energy drink
An energy drink is a type of drink containing sugar and stimulant compounds, usually caffeine, which is marketed as providing mental and physical stimulation (marketed as "energy", but distinct from food energy). They may or may not be carbonated and may also contain other sweeteners, herbal extracts, taurine, and amino acids. They are a subset of the larger group of energy products, which includes bars and gels, and distinct from sports drinks, which are advertised to enhance sports performance. There are many brands and varieties in this drink category.
Coffee, tea and other naturally caffeinated drinks are usually not considered energy drinks. Other soft drinks such as cola may contain caffeine, but are not considered energy drinks either. Some alcoholic drinks, such as Buckfast Tonic Wine, contain caffeine and other stimulants. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is safe for the typical healthy adult to consume a total of 400 mg of caffeine a day. This has been confirmed by a panel of the European Food Safety Authority, which also concludes that a caffeine intake of up to 400 mg per day does not raise safety concerns for adults. According to the ESFA this is equivalent to 4 cups of coffee (90 mg each) or 5 standard cans (250 ml) of energy drink (80 mg each).Energy drinks have the effects caffeine and sugar provide, but there is little or no evidence that the wide variety of other ingredients have any effect. Most effects of energy drinks on cognitive performance, such as increased attention and reaction speed, are primarily due to the presence of caffeine. Other studies ascribe those performance improvements to the effects of the combined ingredients. Advertising for energy drinks usually features increased muscle strength and endurance, but there is still no scientific consensus to support these claims. Energy drinks have been associated with health risks, such as an increased rate of injury when usage is combined with alcohol, and excessive or repeated consumption can lead to cardiac and psychiatric conditions. Populations at-risk for complications from energy drink consumption include youth, caffeine-naïve or caffeine-sensitive, pregnant, competitive athletes and people with underlying cardiovascular disease.Go-Gurt
Go-GURT, also known as Yoplait Tubes in Canada and as Frubes in the United Kingdom, is an American brand of low-fat yogurt for children. It is squeezed out of a tube directly into the mouth, instead of being eaten with a spoon. It was introduced by General Mills licensed Yoplait in 1998 as the first yogurt made specifically for kids.Hallucinogen (musician)
Simon Posford (born 28 October 1971), better known by his stage name Hallucinogen is an English electronic musician, specializing in psychedelic trance music. His first studio album, Twisted, released in 1995, is considered one of the most influential albums in the genre. He has toured India several times.His second album, The Lone Deranger, was released in 1997. A third album, In Dub, was released in 2002.
He is also the founder of the label Twisted Records and works in the electronic duos Younger Brother and Shpongle. Younger Brother initially began as a side project of Posford and Benji Vaughan and represented a transition away from previous projects which emphasized a more synthesized style.Though his music has been described as "heavily driven by psychedelica", he always performs while sober due to operating many computers and mixers during his events.John Lee Hooker
John Lee Hooker (August 22, 1917 – June 21, 2001) was an American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist. The son of a sharecropper, he rose to prominence performing an electric guitar-style adaptation of Delta blues. Hooker often incorporated other elements, including talking blues and early North Mississippi Hill country blues. He developed his own driving-rhythm boogie style, distinct from the 1930s–1940s piano-derived boogie-woogie.
Some of his best known songs include "Boogie Chillen'" (1948), "Crawling King Snake" (1949), "Dimples" (1956), "Boom Boom" (1962), and "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" (1966). Several of his later albums, including The Healer (1989), Mr. Lucky (1991), Chill Out (1995), and Don't Look Back (1997), were album chart successes in the U.S. and U.K. The Healer (for the song "I'm In The Mood") and Chill Out (for the album) both earned him Grammy wins as well as Don't Look Back, which went on to earn him a double-Grammy win for Best Traditional Blues Recording and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals (with Van Morrison).Nujabes
Jun Seba (瀬葉 淳, Seba Jun, February 7, 1974 – February 26, 2010), better known by his stage name Nujabes (ヌジャベス, Nujabesu), was a Japanese record producer, DJ, composer and arranger who produced atmospheric instrumental mixes sampling from hip hop and jazz and released three solo studio albums: Metaphorical Music (2003), Modal Soul (2005) and Spiritual State (released posthumously in 2011). Seba was founder of the independent label Hydeout Productions and released two collection compilations: Hydeout Productions 1st Collection (2003) and 2nd Collection (2007).
Additionally, Seba produced the soundtrack for Shinichirō Watanabe's anime series Samurai Champloo (Music Record: Departure and Impression) in 2004.
On February 26, 2010, Jun Seba died in a traffic collision.Ray BLK
Rita Ekwere (born 2 August 1993), better known under her stage name of Ray BLK, is a British singer and songwriter,rapper who was born in Nigeria, and grew up in Catford in London. She won the BBC's Sound of 2017, and was the first unsigned artist to do so. On 28 October 2016, she released her debut mini-album, Durt, and in January 2018 signed to the UK branch of Island Records.Stuart Matthewman
Stuart Colin Matthewman (born 18 August 1960), also known as Cottonbelly, is an English songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. With Sade Adu, Paul S. Denman, and Andrew Hale, he gained worldwide fame as the guitarist/saxophonist of the English band Sade. Stuart is also a member of bands, Sweetback and Twin Danger.The Chill Out Sessions
The Chill Out Sessions is an extended play consisting of Bring Me the Horizon remixes made by British electronic music producer Draper. After being initially planned to be released on New Year's Day 2012 it was delayed indefinitely by Bring Me the Horizon due to their label situation. However it was released on 22 November 2012 as a free download. The remix EP makes use of Draper's own music style named "chill-step" or "liquid-step" as a homage to his ambient, relaxing take on dubstep music.Thievery Corporation
Thievery Corporation is an American electronic music duo consisting of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton. Their musical style mixes elements of dub, acid jazz, reggae, Indian classical, Middle Eastern, hip hop, electronica, and Brazilian, including bossa nova.Zero 7
Zero 7 are an English musical duo consisting of Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker. They began as studio engineers and in 1997 formed the group Zero 7. Their debut album, Simple Things, was released in 2001. Subsequent albums include When It Falls, The Garden, and Yeah Ghost.
After studying sound engineering, Binns and Hardaker began their careers in the music industry in the 1990s at Mickie Most's RAK recording studio in London, engineering music for British groups like the Pet Shop Boys, Young Disciples, and Robert Plant. In 1997 they created a remix of the song "Climbing Up the Walls" by Radiohead (which was also the first time the name 'Zero 7' was used) and Binns received a credit for additional sampling on Kid A. The pair also remixed Terry Callier's "Love Theme From Spartacus" and songs by Lenny Kravitz, Sneaker Pimps and Lambchop.