What’s the fuzz about ‘Space’? Why did Jimmy Cauty and Alex Paterson split?

The Partnership of “Rockman and Lx” was producing great results, not only with their own work, but elsewhere – the ´Blue Danube Orbital mix´ of the KLF´s 3 a.m. Eternal and the promo-only remixes of ´Money´ by Fischerman´s Friends, for example. But, according to Alex, some of those mixes came out in Germany credited as KLF remixes. “That was done by another company which neither of us had any control over, and we didn’t see the cover artwork until it was too late. I went mad, Jimmy went mad, Bill went mad – what was the KLF doing with the Orb? This type of music was meant to be Orb stuff.”

It led to a lot of confusion, though the only real confusion is knowing who were the members of the Orb at the time the record was released. In fact it was a row over this very question, of linking the KLF with the Orb, that fractured the original Patterson/Cauty pairing. Alex Patterson remembers that “the ‘Sun Electric’ project (O’locco) was recorded at Trancentral, and Jimmy didn’t want to be known on the record as Jimmy Cauty so we called him Gavin Cauty. That was how ridiculous the whole scenario was becoming.”

Consequently, details of the Orb’s activities around this time are a little sketchy. But we do know that an Orb album was recorded by Alex and Jimmy early in 1990, and that Alex departed in April 1990, taking the group name with him. “Space” was then released on KLF Communications, attributed simply to Space, and with only Jimmy credited by name. The split was decided acrimonious. Jimmy and Bill were keen that the Orb should join them on KLF Communications, but Alex felt that it was unfair, as “I felt the Orb was myself, with Jimmy working with me”. Jimmy already had the KLF and it appeared that that he wanted the Orb as well (Alex is at pains to stress that the argument is long forgotten, as he and Jimmy have since completely made up.)

The official KLF press release accompanying “Space” claimed that it was originally intended as the Orb’s debut album, but was now simply Jimmy’s own creation, as he’d removed all of Alex’s contributions. Alex accepts this: “Space was done solely by Jimmy. At the end of the day, he took out all of my ideas and replaced them, or just left them as empty spaces.” Alex has got the original version of ‘Space’, but as far as he is concerned, there’s no need for that to ever see the light of day. Others claimed that there has nothing been removed and that Alex simply isn’t credited at all.

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