Artist picture of Leftfield


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With their warped, dubbed bass lines, rave culture spirit and aggressive, post-punk mentality, production duo Leftfield breathed new life into the British dance scene in the 1990s and produced the seminal album 'Leftism', which is still regarded as one of the country's classic, groundbreaking electronic records.

Founding member Neil Barnes became an obsessive record collector in his teens, discovering the underground reggae scene through obscure house records from America and new wave heroes like Public Image Ltd and Joy Division and went on to play percussion with the London School of Samba and DJ at small London clubs.

Buying a sampler and a keyboard with a bank loan, Barnes made his first track 'Not Forgotten' after being inspired by the film 'Mississippi Burning' and was soon teaming up with DJ friend Paul Daley, who was part of acid jazz act A Man Called Adam and a session musician at the time. Despite long legal wrangles, their remixes of Stereo MCs, David Bowie and Ultra Nate built their reputation and financed the making of early singles 'Release the Pressure' and 'Song of Life' and their debut album 'Leftism' eventually came out in 1995.

Featuring guest vocals from reggae singer Earl Sixteen, Toni Halliday from Curve and Sex Pistols' John Lydon on their hit 'Open Up', the album reached number three in the UK charts and was seen as a celebration of underground dance culture and experimental music. Dubbed as progressive house by some, they sat alongside acts like The Chemical Brothers, Portishead and Underworld and contributed to the 'Trainspotting' and 'Shallow Grave' movie soundtracks before their second album 'Rhythm and Stealth', featuring Afrika Bambaataa and Roots Manuva, topped the UK charts in 1999.

Daley left the group in 2002 but after 16 years between albums 'Alternative Left' was released in 2015 and featured Tunde Adebimpe from TV On The Radio and Jason Williamson from Sleaford Mods and the trademark pounding, angular, hypnotic Leftfield sound.

Artist biography compiled by BDS/West 10. All rights reserved