Turn Up The Strobe tells the story of two of the Twentieth Century’s most vital artists, and those who understood them. A story of success, fear, ego, power, graffiti, house music, independence, control, disaster, the Roland TR-808, love, sheep, marketing, God, death, 12” vinyl records, escape, freedom, populism, a Ford Galaxie and the money and fame all of these things attract.
During a ten year period bridging the 1980s and 1990s, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty created pop masterpieces at a prodigious pace, leaving behind a body of work unlike anything created before or since. From international hit singles and legal wrangles with ABBA to mysterious rituals conducted on far-flung corners of the British Isles and abandoned road movies, the duo questioned, accused and entertained in equal measure. Never before had one band possessed the power or inclination to excite high street nightclubs and the contemporary art world simultaneously.
Exploring the making of the men, the work they embarked on and the people who helped them realise it, Turn Up The Strobe is the first in-depth history of The KLF, packed with new and exclusive interviews, illuminating research and insightful commentary. Ian Shirley respectfully charts the journey from youthful adventures in pop music and elsewhere towards the Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu, The Timelords and the chart-topping monster The KLF became.
Drummond and Cauty have recently announced a resumption in activity planned for August 2017, and continue to be actively involved in engaging work today. The duo’s fanbase remains as strong as their mystique, and interest in their activities seems to grow year on year.
Ian Shirley is the current editor of Record Collector’s Rare Record Price Guide and has written biographies on Bauhaus, The Residents, Pink Floyd and Green Day, as well as the definitive guide to the links between music and comics. As a music writer his work has also appeared in a broad range of other publications. He would like to stress that no sheep were harmed during the writing of this book.