The KLF featuring Wanda Dee- Library of Mu

Library of Mu record:
Title: The KLF featuring Wanda Dee
Date: 1993-10-27
Journal: Beat Magazine (Melbourne)
Author: Naomi Dinnen
Type of resource: Articles
Status: text
No. views: 5193
Description: Wanda Dee and Eric Floyd interview, in which they reveal their scam and try to justify it.


The KLF featuring Wanda Dee

By Naomi Dinnen (1993-10-27, Beat Magazine (Melbourne))

Their hits Last Train to Trancentral and Justified and Ancient were outstanding commercial successes, but Jim Cauty and Bill Drummond, the men behind the KLF shunned the stage and spotlight. Regarded as geniuses by many, both their business skills and their masterpieces the Chill Out album and The Write Room, earnt the pair respect all over the world. Then they shocked the public and their colleagues by splitting up. But the show goes on, fronted by American glamour girl Wanda Dee and her consort Eric Floyd. Naomi Dinnen reports.

So what ever happened to The KLF. The mad duo who created an empire on being as elusive as they wanted to be, and then threw it all away. Last heard of they disbanded, declared bankruptcy, deleted their entire back catalogue, and disappeared with a large amount of money advanced from the record company the KLF were signed to. But with Bill Drummond recently said to be resurfacing with a new project, and the KLF albums still selling by the bucket-load all over the world it looks more and more like it was just another one of the dynamic duo's publicity stunts, designed to throw a spanner in the machinery of the music industry.

And who are these people claiming to be The KLF? Where are Bill and Jimmy now? Are Altern8 really The KLF reincarnated? Or is the Aphex Twin? Attempting to address at least some of these questions, Wanda Dee and her manager/husband and co-star, rapper Eric Floyd, got on the phone from their Manhattan base. Wanda has for three years now headed the show called the KLF Experience which has toured the world, attracting new fans for both the records made by the one-time music studio masters, and for Wanda Dee herself.

Skeptics are quick to jump up and down and yell that there's no way Wanda is the KLF and as she had no part in its inception. They may have a point, but Wanda and Eric's story does ring true - even if the image of Wanda Dee is as far removed from that of the men we knew as the KLF as possible. And if you want proof just check out the cover of 'What Time is Love?'

"Wanda Dee was not exactly invited to join the KLF, it was more like she was ignited," Eric recites excitedly. "I was in a club in DC, and I heard Wanda's voice saying 'I wanna see you sweat', on this incredible sounding record; I went into the DJ booth to thank the DJ for mixing Wanda's voice into this record, and he said he didn't mix a thing and it was all right there in this record. He showed me this record cover and it said What Time is Love? by The KLF, and then it said 'I wanna see you sweat' courtesy of Miss Wanda Dee."

"I'd never heard of these people and they'd never asked Wanda's permission to use her voice. They'd taken off her biggest selling rap single 'To The Bone' - the record opens up with Wanda saying 'I wanna see you sweat' - and sampled it right off the record and put it on What Time is Love?. It wasn't until I went to sue Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty that I discovered they had also taken from the same record the line 'come on boy do you wanna ride?' and slapped that on Last Train to Trancentral."

"The KLF stands for Kopyright Liberation Federation - that's what they told us. They spell Kopyright with a K because they think it's OK to steal other people's material, by-passing other people's publishing companies and copyright, putting it into their own records, using their own studio wizardry, in releasing it to the masses. But they'd just gone too far this time."

"So their settlement with us was to invite Wanda to participate in the rest of the LP, to star in the Stadium House Trilogy and video and do a track of hers called 'Do as I Damn Well Please' for her upcoming solo album, to receive a shit-load of money as a cash settlement, to fly us over to do the videos and also to give her co-publishing credits on the songs which she co-wrote with Bill - which they did because all the records say co-written by L. McFarland, which stands for Wanda's real name L'wanda McFarland. And also you'll see on the bottom of the album it says WandDee music, which is Wanda Dee's co-publishing company."

"The only part of the agreement that they really reneged upon was one, they didn't give us the track they said that they would produce for the solo album, but the main one was that they didn't give her featured artist credit on the video tags like they promised. Had they put the KLF featuring Wanda Dee from the very beginning ... had they just played fair, there would be no confusion as to who the KLF is. What they did is they took a female rap artist and former hip hop artist and former star DJ from the Zulu Nation, who had solo career status before she these characters [sic]. They took her solo star status away from her because now she is relegated to being on the street, wherever she walks, as the girl from the KLF."

By doing the show as the KLF aren't Wanda and Eric saying what Bill and Jimmy did is okay? Surely Wanda Dee's show is what's keeping it alive - because without what she's doing there is no KLF anymore.

"Right," Wanda agrees. "And subsequently it's paying me, it's putting money back into my pocket, their pocket and Arista Records' pocket."

So just who is Wanda 'The Goddess' Dee? From her publicity shots it's obvious she's a showgirl of sorts - and one who likes to be surrounded by men. Her stage show apparently features extravagant costume changes and a strong of choreographed male dancers . . but where did she come from? Wanda explains: "I started out 15 years ago as a hip hop scratch DJ and I was the first female DJ inducted into the Zulu Nation by Afrika Bambatta."

"Now," Eric continues (cue over-excited ad man voice), "She's this ultra glamorous exotic erotic international chanteuse and voice of techno music - the Goddess herself, the diva with fever, the queen of steam..."

The Goddess image that Eric refers to was debuted at a New York club in 1987 and then three years ago he and Wanda Dee developed the KLF live show.

"The KLF producers and the KLF performers are two different entities," says Eric. "We've got the KLF performers. There's something called the techno group syndrome and that is that the name of the group is often the name of the producers but it's not necessarily who the public have come to know and love for the music."

"Because the KLF music is impossible to play live because it's made up of dozens and dozens of samples ... it would be a cast of thousands to produce that on stage live ... so all the music is on DAT but all the rapping is live and all the vocals are live."

And what do Bill and Jimmy think about all of this? Of course they weren't available for comment, which is all very convenient. But then who really gives a damn? Like Snap, Black Box and C&C Music Factory, the majority of the people who buy the records will no doubt love to see the hits performed live. And anyone who thinks they're going to see the techno wizardry of Bill and Jimmy and fifty thousand samples should simply stay at home.

The KLF featuring Wanda Dee play at the Metro on Cup Eve, Monday, November 1, 1993.



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