Home > Dub, Electronica > One of the greatest electronica albums ever…

One of the greatest electronica albums ever…

Leftfield was a duo of electronica formed by Paul Daley, formely of A man called Adam and Brand new heavies and Neil Barnes, formed in 1989 in London England. The pair were pioneers in the fields of intelligent dance music and progressive house, being among the first to fuse house music with dub and reggae. It furthermore was among the first electronic musicians to incorporate live guest vocalists, along with Chemical brothers and Underworld. Their first major hit was “Open Up”, a collaboration with John Lydon of The Sex pistols soon followed by their debut album, Leftism in 1995, blending dub, breakbeat with techno. Leftism was nominated for the 1995 Mercury Music Prize but lost to Portishead’s Dummy. And I can see why with this was so amazing when it came out. I don’t think I’ve heard any album before this that sounded anything like it – as it was later coined, progressive house. Throughout the album, there is a strange, cold, ambiance and yet compelling atmosphere held through all the tracks. The production has that nostalgic 1995 feel to it, when music wasn’t as unpredictable as it is now. The songs vary throughout Leftism from Ambient to Prodigy’s Dub-Big Beat to almost Meat Beat Manifesto style Industrial. This album is a classic cause it pre-dates a lot of sounds from 10 years before : some of the songs on this album such as Open up were even composed in 1993 ! And Release The Pressure, in 1992, 17 years from now. You have to realise that back then there was almost no framework for that music, a non-existent scene for live acts exept in raves (most electro bands were booked to rock concerts such as Lollapalooza), a yet to become public, and very much less DJ’s than nowadays. The progressive thinking beyond this album is very much forward-thinking to a sound and a scene that were to yet to blossom. One of the best tracks of the album is Melt, with its sublime and pristine vibe, there is also Check one that was featured on Daddy G’s DJ Kicks mix, that stands out but overall, all tracks are still highly listenable. It’s no surprise that Leftfield produced one, inferior album before they broke up. They would never be able to top this masterpiece…


Leftfield – Melt [Columbia : Leftism – 1995]

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  1. Poukoipa
    November 19, 2009 at 4:42 am

    I love it!

  2. JM
    December 28, 2011 at 4:45 am

    You’ve made some great points about how ground breaking this album was in 1995. One of the best albums ever made, in any genre…

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