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About Leftfield

When Paul Daley and Neil Barnes founded Leftfield in 1989, they brought a drummer’s sensibility to the world of programmed beats. Both were percussionists—Barnes had studied samba, while Daley had done sessions with Primal Scream and The Brand New Heavies—and on early singles like 1992’s “Release the Pressure”, the UK duo fleshed out house music’s lean electronic pulse with booming, muscular grooves. As rave’s early anarchy settled into clearly defined genres, Leftfield kept their music unpredictable: Their 1995 debut album, Leftism, toys with trip-hop, dub, techno and breakbeats. One of its most straightforward club anthems, “Open Up”, pairs driving acid trance with bellowing vocals courtesy of Sex Pistols’ John Lydon—precisely the kind of experimental gambit that led critics to dub their music progressive house. They kept evolving with 1999’s Rhythm and Stealth, offering a darker counterpoint to the big-beat electronic music that dominated the end of the decade. Following a 2002 split, Leftfield reunited for 2015’s Alternative Light Source, recruiting new friends—Sleaford Mods and TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe—for a faithful update to their now-classic sound.

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