Chosen by Mick
INTRO (from Wiki)
Leftism is the debut studio album by English electronic music duo Leftfield, released in 1995 on Columbia Records. It contained a mixture of new tracks along with reworked versions of previous Leftfield singles. The album contains guest spots from musicians not associated with dance music at the time such as John Lydon from Public Image Ltd. (and formerly of Sex Pistols) and Toni Halliday from Curve. The album was described as progressive house, although some journalists found that label too limiting, suggesting the album incorporated many genres. After completing the album, the duo initially were not pleased with it.
On its release, the album was well received from the British press with positive reviews from the NME and Q. The album was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 1995 but lost to Portishead. Leftism sold well and was released months later in the United States. Critics have praised the album as one of the major album-length works of dance music, with Q referring to it as “the first truly complete album experience to be created by house musicians and the first quintessentially British one”.
Spud – “When I started listening to the album I really wasn’t sure what to make of it. Electronic-reggae? Followed by African-trance? Then it went a bit more ambient. Needless to say I was a bit confused.
But I really liked that first track, Release the Pressure. It has a good core beat and enough variation, including the vocals, to keep me interested the full seven and half minutes which is quite the achievement for me!
I like the trumpety sound of Melt, and Song of Life is a great background track to zone out. And that’s pretty much what I did for the rest of the album as it all sounds a bit the same to me.
Until Open Up, where the vocals kinda grab my attention again. This track should really end with two minutes left, where it just changes into a different song. 21st Century Poem has an additional minute (half of silence, half of some faint bass beats) for reasons I don’t understand. It’s all a bit weird for me and although there was some head nodding throughout, I’m just not a Leftie.”
Ice – “Thanks for putting this forward buddy – I actually have this on CD so was looking forward to listening to it again.
Release The Pressure is a nice intro to the album but I’d actually prefer it without the lyrics. I like the whistling in the background that reminds me of Apaches!
I love everything about Afro Left – always makes me want to dance!
This tune does make you Melt, has to be one of the most chilled tunes I know, sit back relax admire the view and enjoy a glass of red!
Song Of Life gets 2nd spot for me. The slow buildup takes a while but I love the deep drum impact with light electronics in the background, moving onto deeper dance, love it!
I forgot about Original another cool chilled out tune. Was it a song on FIFA back in the day? I think the tone of the lyrics go well with the music.
Black Flute is not bad but prefer their other tunes. The lead tune (if that make sense) reminds me of rotation – does my head in a bit.
I like the different components of Space Shanty coming together in a slow buildup to trancey laser beats!
Again I prefer Inspection (Check One) without lyrics, it takes away from what could have been a cool dance tune.
Storm 3000 was slow starting but I did enjoy the electronical chorus onwards, especially when the deep drums came in.
The 1st spot has to go to Open Up: love everything about it, it deserves a place in the classic dance hall of fame!
21st Century Poem was a nice sign-off to this album where for the 1st time on the album I don’t mind the lyrics.
Overall thanks a million for putting this up Mick! Haven’t listened to it in ages so I forgot how much I enjoyed the album. Some seriously whopper tunes on it, main criticism is the vocals. I prefer dance not to have lyrics so I can visualise where the beats take me.”
Sol – “Well Mick, mixed review for me on Leftism. Again, I find a whole album of dance music too much to listen to a few times during the week. I’m not mad on the whole reggae style dance music that was on some of the the tunes.
I thought the first two were ok, liked parts of them. Really enjoyed Melt, such a great deadly chilled out vibe to this. Original was a nice follow up, keeping the same vibe.
Slightly different with Black Flute, really enjoyed this one also, really reminds me of dance songs from that era. Space Shanty fit well into the album at this point but I didn’t really enjoy it as much, parts were grand but it went too long.
Inspection (Check One) wasn’t for me. Open Up is class, end of.
Overall I thought as an album it was meh based on listening to the album as a whole plus having to be in the mood for it, but I think this is a perfect example of an album which I will really enjoy the songs when I hear them on their own within a shuffle or playlist and I’ll be taking some great tunes from this album.”
E.P. – “Really liked the album. Not usually my type of music, but when done well can really appreciate it. Great opener with Release the Pressure. I love Afro Left, great song. Melt was good too… got a bit of a Fever Ray feel off it. I know what Spud means about the album sounding the same with a lot of it, but given that it’s so good I don’t see that as a problem. Good shout!”
★ Agree/disagree? Let us know in the comments below ★
SONGS ADDED TO THE MUSIC NIGHTS SPOTIFY PLAYLIST:
- Release The Pressure
- Open Up
Music From Before the Storm by Daughter
Listen along with us for the week and check out our reviews next Sunday!