August 16, 2017

Leftfield - Leftism (1995)

Leftfield's debut album is guided by a traditional house/techno cadence, but the group also plays with dub, tribal house, ambient, post-punk, eurotrance, and trip hop. This wide color palette became a staple for progressive house and was later exercised fluently by dominant groups like Daft Punk and Basement Jaxx. Almost all of these songs had already been released as singles or b-sides before they were transcribed into album versions and pressed as a 70 minute runtime in 1995. Leftism's mixing and master feels decently consistent and cohesive, but each song rocks its own genre crossover. This is a cool concept, but the album sometimes flows a little weird when I listen to it. Leftism isn't as organic and spacious as albums from The Orb or The Future Sound Of London--you can hear the start cuts on samples and the introduction of song elements are very linear, but I appreciate this mixture of traditional sampling and calm atmosphere. The drum tracks aren't necessarily as complex as those composed by Orbital or Underworld, but they groove just as deeply (if not even groovier). Leftism is one of the most monumental house albums ever released and is an essential for anyone into electronic music.