12 TUNES OF CHRISTMAS: Incredible Intros. #5: The KLF – What Time is Love? [1988]

With the return of the KLF earlier this year, perhaps Messrs Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond might be able to answer the question: ‘Did the KLF invent trance music’?

Reportedly recorded amidst aesthetic dissatisfaction at the commercial success of Doctorin the Tardis, the KLF’s prior side project, What Time is Love? was released in October 1988, opening with an oft-used quote from MC5’s Kick Out The Jams before entering serious rave territory.

The sleeve for the track was subtitled Pure Trance 1, and was idealised as the first of a set of ‘underground’ singles labelled ‘Pure Trance’, which would include future releases 3am Eternal and Last Train to Trancecentral, as well as a number of unreleased singles, such as Love Trance and Turn Up The Strobe.

As the Wikipedia page for What Time is Love explains, an Oberhein OB-8 synthesiser was used in its composition, with the track “based around an acid house riff on three low-pitched notes and one minor chord (B minor). The subtle progression of the piece occurs through the modulation of the main loops, the dub-like dropping of particular loops, and a recurring high-pitched refrain on two notes (B bending to F#).”

Personally, I just think it sounds f*king epic. As any ‘pure trance’ track should…

PS: As discovered by Discogs user T-Ten, Bill Drummond revealed the unusual title of the track during a recent radio show on Resonance FM: “Jimmy Cauty and I went down to Heaven one Monday night, and it was my first time taking E. After a while, nothing seemed to be happening so I turned to Jimmy and said What Time Is Love? (as in when is this gonna kick in) and within a few moments of saying those words, my legs felt warm and my hands went clammy…” The rest, as they say, is history.


#12: Royal House – Can You Party
#11: LFO – Freak
#10: Maurice – This Is Acid (K & T Mix)
#9: T99 – Anasthasia
#8: Laurent Garnier – Sound of the Big Babou
#7: Aphex Twin – Come To Daddy
#6: X-101 – Sonic Destroyer
#5: The KLF – What Time is Love?
#4: ???

[Kudos to Backintday for the YouTube upload]

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