When Star Control 2
was being developed, a contest was posted to the Usenet
. It requested submissions for a game, but the name of the game was not mentioned. Riku Nuottajarvi
and Dan Nicholson
won, and are among the principle composers of the game soundtrack. They formed the 8-bit Collective
, and the tracking
in 1991. KLF's aim was to provide free music
, which was an obvious homage in name and spirit to The KLF
. Their home BBS
was even named Trancentral ][
. KLF members went by handles, Riku as IQ
, and Dan as Maelcum
Their music was initially released in Amiga 4-channel MOD format. They started with a small group of members, but the roster expanded quickly over a short amount of time. As technology improved, KLF followed, from MultiTracker, through [ft2 vs it|the holy war of FastTracker 2 v. ScreamTracker 3, to Impulse Tracker. The files were spread far and wide through BBS nets (Fidonet and TABnet, if I remember correctly).
With the rise of the web and the steady increase in bandwidth, KLF renamed itself to Kosmic/Kosmic Free Music Foundation and began distribution in mp3 format. Trancentral went the way of most BBS's and KFMF's new homebase is now a website (www.kosmic.org).
On a personal note, shortly after KLF was started, I got into the BBS scene and as luck would have it, Trancentral was a local call to me. I was a juarez puppy and this damn BBS had nothing but MOD files and tracking software. Well, eventually, I gave it a try and I was hooked. I even submitted a song and got rejected (it was my second MOD ever and it was indeed horrible). Dan Nicholson was pretty nice about it, knowing I had a fragile 13 year old ego.
Fortunately my graphical skill was better than my musical skill, and I became a member for a short while (1994ish, member 9) doing some RIPScript promos. Other priorities came and I dropped out, but I kept in touch with the community for the next few years, on the web and on IRC. Funnily enough, Dan Nicholson and I live in the same town, but we never met face-to-face.
Over a decade later, it's nice to see KFMF still around and still pumping out the music.