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All of the major contemporary art events have coincided in European in 2017 and at A*Desk we’re reviewed the Venice Biennale, the Skulptur Projekte Münster and Documenta 14. Within a different order of things, a few days ago rumours began to spread about a possible reunion of The Justified Ancients of MuMu, one of the projects by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, after a hiatus of 23 years. Drummond and Cauty began working together in 1987 and, in only 5 years of activity, brought out two pioneering records in sampling (as The JAMs) and various other seminal albums for rave and ambient music (as The KLF), as well as various singles and compilations; they published a book on how to make hits, made a film and made inroads into various other apparently unconnected activities.
The band confirmed the rumours of this reunion by announcing the celebration of an event that will take place in August in Liverpool, of which we know little more than the space-time coordinates of where and when it will take place. Voluntarily elusive regarding any details, the JAMs are working on something new (a trilogy), which they will present on this occasion of the coming month. The last time Drummond and Cauty presented a trilogy was in1991, when they invited eighty journalists to a secret event on the island of Jura (Scotland) that ended up turning into a sort of false pagan festival which they called the Rites of Mu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJq…
Specialists in sabotage, in 1993 they attacked the Turner prize (as K Foundation), offering that year’s winner, Rachel Whitread, double the amount received by Turner prize-winners for being “the worst artist of the year”. A year later, at the Brit Awards ceremony, they ended their performance by firing blanks with a machine gun at the public and leaving a dead sheep on the stage, just before announcing their retirement from the music business. Their greatest act of sabotage is the auto-boycott that followed: they removed their records from commercial circulation and deleted their catalogue, before returning to the island of Jura to burn a million pounds, in 50 pound notes, earned thanks to the music.
For all these reasons, if The Justified Ancients of MuMu announce a new work in the form of a trilogy, it’s well worth expecting the presentation will live up to expectations. Long live 2017!
"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)