Pop Culture; What time is hype (again)

Domes, grants and bugs - a Millennium-weary British public gets its chance for revenge today with the release of 2K' s 14-minute single `F*** the Millennium'. The art/pop jokers behind 2K, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, originally staged a 23-minute version of the single as part of a performance spectacle at the Barbican Centre in September. Provocatively advertised in the national press as "1997 What The F***'s Going On?", the multimedia extravaganza featured, amongst numerous oddities, a massed troop of striking Liverpool dockers and a brass band. According to 2K themselves, however, that was the last we would hear from them.

Of course, it' s never that straightforward with Drummond and Cauty. Go out and buy "F*** the Millennium" today - you' ll have to to hear it as no radio stations are touching it - and you' ll find yourself part of the anarcho-pop nonsense the K-boys have mastered since announcing their musical demise at the Brit Awards in 1992. The song itself is little more than a rehash of the 1991 hit "What Time is Love ?", which was a number one for an earlier incarnation of 2K's, KLF. Since then Drummond and Cauty, under the guise of the K Foundation, got up media noses by setting light to one million pounds for no apparent reason and offered to double Rachel Whiteread' s 1993 pounds 20,000 Turner Prize winnings if she accepted the title `Worst Artist of the Year'.

As the authors of "The Manual (How To Have A Number One The Easy Way)", the pair know that aiming for commercial success with "F*** the Millennium" is the hard way. No, the reason for its release lies in last Friday' s full page advert in The Guardian where readers were asked to respond to the declaration "F*** the Millennium: yes or no" by ringing a telephone number printed. Bear in mind then, that the cash handed over for the song will also buy you a stake in Drummond and Cauty' s typically frank contribution to the Millennium debate, though to what effect, who knows?

F*** the Millennium, out now.

Mike Higgins

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