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's Dummy. 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".Wikipedia
Background music from a PS2 racing game
Stone cold drugs classic. Brings back hazy memories of being off my face
Still listen to this album to this day. So many good tracks, doesn’t get repetitive and one of the best paced albums of all time. Release The Pressure and Inspection are dub classics, Original & Open Up are perfectly cast vocal tracks, top notch. Amazing on the dance floor and through headphones. Leftfield could never have bettered this.
What a time to be alive, I imagine this was something like the rave generation's Revolver, except instead of the sitar it was ecstacy. Space Shanty is an absolute banger despite the tacky title track
Great electronic album. Leftfield was a pioneer in this area in my opinion. The songs stand alone just fine, yet also support listening as a full work together. This album you can focus and zone out on anywhere and still enjoy it.
I like a fair amount of electronic music from this era, particularly British electronic music, but I never listened to this one somehow. Although it is slightly more dancey than most of what I was listening to back then, this would've fit right in and been a treasured part of the musical landscape. As I think the best electronic music should be, it is a fun headphone ride. I also like all the different influences they incorporate. I gravitate more towards the slower tempo numbers.
On their debut album, Leftfield explore some intriguing sonic territory, but end up overstuffing and underwhelming in equal measure. Like all the electronic or house albums I've had so far on the list, it's a product of the 90's CD era and ends up interminably long at 69 minutes, with over half the tracks around the 7 minute mark. The best praise "Leftism" is deserving of is that it's immaculately engineered. Clean, tough and spacious, it sounds great and would surely be a good candidate for showing off a new hi-fi or club sound system. Some of the vocal tracks were intriguing at times: "Release the Pressure" is a solid start, with its fluttering synths and pads gently building into a shapeshifting, pulsing manifesto. Earl Sixteen is a great fit for vocals here, particularly when his ethereal falsetto kicks in at about the four-and-a-half minute mark. One must also admit that it's difficult to imagine something more "left-field" than John Lydon guesting on an EDM record for the very convincing "Open Up": another of the record's high points. And "Melt", mostly beatless, gets top points for crafting an immersive, dreamlike soundscape: perhaps my favourite on here and a side to Leftfield I would have liked to have seen more of. Beyond this, though, the songs I struggled with were hell-bent on degenerating into an endless, pulsing, four-to-the-floor beat, really leaning into house music. "Black Flute" plays all its tricks within about thirty seconds, and then "Space Shanty" is an extreme test of patience over seven minutes, as is "Storm 3000" with its very dated breakbeat. And as much as I liked Toni Halliday's vocals, "Original" just came across as a slightly poor, more dated Massive Attack track. I really did try to like this one, but ultimately it just faded into the background. I get the appreciation its length is much more a factor in its downfall than the skills of the group, as there is some promising material in here. But by the end, I found myself longing for some good old-fashioned songwriting rather than farting around with synths, drum machines and production wizardry.
Now this is more like it! Great album. Loved the mix of trance/rave/D&B/melodic. Space Shanty right up my street. 5/5
One of the strongest electronic albums I’ve heard. It pushes the boundaries of electronica even today. An essential album for any fan of the genre.
I have massive affection for this album - one of the first electronic albums I properly got into after my nothing-but-metal phase. Love electronica that fuses world music into itself. Love an album that wanders over the genre map. Fave track - gotta be "Open Up", really, but love everything on here...
Ahh. I cannot fully express how i felt when this appeared as my album of the day. I wasn't 100% sure it would be on the list, as it seems to go a bit under the radar for some reason. One of the most influential electronic albums ever. Here we have classics like "Release the Pressure", "Song of life", "Open Up", "Melt" and "Original". Done in a range of styles from dub to trance but mainly techno. Great vocals delivered from the guest vocalists, including - hold your breath - Johnny Rotten from Sex Pistols (on Open Up). This is a must listen for EVERYONE.
Very very good indeed. Still a classic, with an almost constant maintenance of groove, while not ever being repetitive or tired. It felt innovative in 1995, but still bears up to repeated listening; a true classic of dance/dub mash. Top tracks: Inspection, Original
Finally after 39 long albums Dickie gets his Trance/Rave album! And not just any Rave album. Its the lads that defined the fucking genre at its peak. This was so important they now have an area of Glastonbury named after them and both the chemical brothers and the prodigy (although the latter clearly weren't listening very hard) were influenced by them. I've never listened to the whole thing before and have some new headphones coming this afternoon. So will strap myself in, take some pills (paracetamol or rennie) and get my rave on! Unlike most of this genre- this has love, heart, and a purpose. It holds my attention throughout and is actually fucking interesting which is a major feat for dance music which is usually... well.... boring. Also that is some Album cover. I might buy it just so I can put it up my wall! Actually having checked the price of one of the most rare vinyls in music, maybe I won't. Highlights: 21st Century Poem & Storm 3000 4/5
An amazing melting pot of influences and genres. House, Trance, Dub, Tribal all blended together. Some gorgeous instrumental tracks combined with great vocal tracks, most notably the absolutely banging Open Up. Still sounds amazing today. Great album.
Chemical Brothers, take note! Finally, someone that can do house/trance/EDM without just looping the same refrain over and over and over and over. I really appreciate seeing an album on this list that isn't vocal-centric. There are vocal tracks that come and go, but beats, instruments, sounds and samples are what takes center stage. Each track has a solid foundation that carries throughout, but there is a diverse cast of musical characters that roams into, out of and through each. Likewise there is a flow and continuity to the entire album that makes the whole thing feel like a complete work of art. On the whole the album is equally enjoyable playing in the background or occupying your entire attention span. I'm really glad to have been introduced!
The EDM conundrum. How do I consider music that is essentially written for the clubs and belongs in the clubs? Especially when I am many decades removed from clubs to begin with. I knew a lot of this work from singles that were released before the full length. But this doesn't play like a collection of disparate singles. It holds together as a cohesive statement and is one of the best EDM releases of the 90s.
i was not expecting such a cool album. so rarely have we had an album full of this amount and this level of cool. it's full of creative, unique sounds and not repetitive at all. there's a variety of softer and bouncy, fun songs. with the minimal vocals (and i like how not every track has vocals), the electronic music is the focus! according to the wikipedia article, this album was a pioneer in house music and i can't say i'm surprised. barnes and daley put together such a fun album. looking forward to listening to this more and more.
Happy to report that this is many times better than I remember it. By turns tribal, trancey, dubby, housey and ambient, ‘Leftism’ takes you on a journey, battering you into submission one minute, seducing you the next. It really hits the spot and doesn’t sound dated at all considering it’s almost 30 years old.
It's hard to overestimate the significance of Leftism, roundly acknowledged upon its release in 1995 as the first truly complete album experience to be created by house musicians and the first quintessentially British one.
I don't listen to much house (or just electronic music for that matter), so I can appreciate something new like this. The beats are nice, but the ambient parts get a bit hollow and generally drag out for me. I think a large part of this album is that it's meant to be played in a club setting. Lights, dancing, drinks, and socializing would all enhance the music! But in a vacuum, the music has problems keeping me engaged as a I sit here at my computer. Some standout tracks on here (Space Shanty gets especially good with that phaser/flanger. Daft Punk, anyone?), can't say I was into the whole album though.
I found this album to be enjoyable enough, but a lot of the songs drew on a bit longer than I think they needed to. The lengths allowed each track to become a bit repetitive and boring. That aside, the music itself is creative and still holds fairly well, all this time later! If this is really a birthplace for EDM and house music, they really got things right here. I loved the various eastern and new age influences throughout the tracks. Both styles have become prolifically woven into EDM and house music over the years, and if Leftfield is also responsible for that, then they deserve even more brownie points. I do think Release the Pressure and Open Up did a lot of the heavy lifting on the album. While everything was decent; these two tracks are the only real memorable "bangers".
Good music to listen to while working. A bit repetitive to sit down and listen to
Well this came out of left field
I definitely could have gone without hearing it before i die
Brand spanking new to me, no idea what this even is. While listening to the album, I read that Leftfield is a duo and they hated this album after they finished it. I agree with them. Probably just not my cup of tea. Hard pass.
You can imagine my disappointment when I realized this wasn't 1980s pop rock group The Outfield (RIP John Spinks). Listening to this album made me want to take a bath with a toaster. Best track: N/A
Its like being in a late night European dance club in a great way.
Very cool early house album. Definitely some bumping tracks.
I’ve never heard of this band but really enjoyed their music!
A bit of everything
This took me back! What a groundbreaking album this was. They were true techno pioneers.
Never heard of it before!! Dope
Has withstood the test of time
What was that? Jamaican electronic dance music? It was great.
Dit is top!
Again I don't have a chance to write my essay style review. This is an album I keep coming back to
The sound of clubbing in the 90s and with the Chemicals and Underworld part of the 'big 3' of dance music bands making actual albums. As successful as either of the others in making an album that sounded like clubbing while actually being listenable to. Lydon and Halliday the coolest guest vocalists as well.
Its undoubtedly era defining
I really liked this one! Electronic albums aren't always my thing, but I appreciated the musical influences here, specifically the rock sounds throughout the record. I think I was initially thrown off a bit by the vocals, but it grew on me.
cool album. never heard it before
Tried like hell to find the theme from "Shallow Grave" only to discover it not on this record. Still, I believe it was this album that led me to enjoy Aphex Twin and Autechre as opposed to radio stuff like Fatboy Slim.
Yeah, another good 90s 'classic' techno album. Pretty decent genre overall
Nice rave. Brought me right back to club days.
Muy zapatilla pero mola
Gestern schon geschrieben: aufgrund der für mich wirklich schrecklichen Single "Open Up" waren Leftfield bei mir durchs Raster gefallen - nachdem ich ihre früheren Tracks (gehört natürlich in der Steve Mason Experience auf BFBS) alle ziemlich super gefunden hatte. Dann noch ein komisches Cover, plötzlicher Popstar-Status und viel zu viel Konkurrenz auf dem Mark - zack, hat man sich das alles seit 26 Jahren nicht mehr angehört. Hat also einen schönen Time-Capsule-Effekt: dieses warme Acidgeblubber, die kitschen Trance-Flächen, die (UK represent!) immer wieder eingestreuten Breakbeats: man möchte direkt wieder auf die Loveparade! Ist sicher nicht Technos größter Wurf, wundere mich auch ein bisschen warum gerade die auf der Liste gelandet sind (vermutlich wegen Popstar-Status damals), aber macht auf jeden Fall Spaß. Voll verdiente 3,8!
Beats technoid clubtauglicher als in Erinnerung - selbst zum Frühstück ein geiles Teil, das in einem Vierteljahrhundert nix an Sattheit verloren hat. Das Album hat für mich zwar keinerlei narrativen Wert , dafür sind die Einzelteile in der Auslage aber sehr hübsch anzuschauen. Funkelnde 4.1
8/10. Giving this the benefit of the doubt as I didn't get a very clear listen due to having my windows rolled down on the freeway to combat the lack of AC. What I could hear of it sounded pretty cool though, and I expect I'll come back to this later.
a Groove Salad mainstay. good ambient beats.
This is ace.
Not a top level belter for me but a belter nevertheless
Honestly I'm a sucker for anything edm
After being real cool on much of the electronica served up to me so far, this one actually clicked. Seems like good study/coding music, but according to the reviews I'd be best off tripping face in a London warehouse.
Erfrischender Genre-Wechsel, hätte nicht erwartet, dass mir das soo gut gefällt, bringt mich zum Tanzen.
pretty good 4/5
Quite fun electro, definitely enjoyed it.
esta mas que aceptable y empieza muy bien se entiende lo transmitido pero no me llena del todo y de a ratos aburre
Un álbum muy locochón, sí me dio un ambiente de raves a los que jamás asistiré, pero también de pronto tiene estas canciones más "tranquilas" que igual comparten como un estado de trance con las que se oyen más upbeat. Aunque todo me gustó, yo creo "Afro Left" y "Space Shanty" están entre mis favs del disco. 9/10
Pues sí me gustó en general. Me parece que aunque ya existía el house y comenzaba el deep varios de los tracks de aqui se reflejan en el deep house, en el techno house y todas esas madres junkies que se presentaban hasta antes de la pandemia en el boiler room. Mis favs: Black flute y Space Shanty. Mood: Sí parecen de peli de Gaspar Noé.
Dope. A few good songs for a party playlist
Cool mix of house, techno, dub and triphop. Maybe too much techno for me to love though.
J’aime ce genre de musique pour travailler et cet album ne fait pasexception. Quoi que beaucoup techno, koins de symth. 4
What a gorgeous album. Some of the best electronic music I've ever heard. The dance tracks are intoxicating and the slower tracks sumptuous and gorgeous. My only complaint...it's 15 minutes too long. 4.5 🌟
Solid House album, more upbeat but not as good as Dummy by portishead IMO. Really with I could give 3.5. 4
pretty good beats
Good grooves! Helps me focus on my work. Occasionally brought me to dancing without even trying.
A great but gentle slab of sound. It has a shape, isn't exactly ambient, even in the house way. But it works well as a soundtrack for life, biorhythmic.
Yep, give me more!
really laid back, cool record. One to listen to again
Extremely influential and critically acclaimed album… easy to see why. I’m very familiar with this record and it’s aged brilliantly!
An album I wouldnt have given the time of day without this list. Glad I got to experience it
House isn't my favourite genre of EDM, but Leftism has sat amongst my other CDs since the early 2000s. A real yardstick for others to be measured. At 2 hours it is an epic to boot.
I enjoyed it more than most EDM and it made a great station.
Ibiza cream classic, this was pretty great and a change from what I've been getting recently
Love it raggamuffin
Better than I though it would be and there were more singles that I knew than I though I would Certainly a trip down memory lane
nice house album, the album starts slow with some tribal african influences then it picks up midway to become a more club like house album
Great album of"Progressive House" (Prog House). Some great tracks I particularly liked Earl Daileys Vocals on "Release The Pressure" and Ol' Johnny Rotten (John Lydon) on "Open Up". Better side of Dance music here with some really creative tunes. Rightfully on the list in my opinion.
This is really good
A pleasant surprise. The first few tracks I wasn't super into, but once the album really kicked in, I was totally into it. Very retro-futuristic. Not sure how much I enjoyed John Lydon's performance, but enjoyed the other performance. Favorite tracks: "Melt", "Song of Life", "Space Shanty", "Storm 3000"
Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Afro left, Space shanty
Well, this is a pleasant surprise.
Coole sounds. Zeer tof voor op de achtergrond. Begin van storm 3000 laat me wat aan een oscar and the wolf liedje denken.
This grew on me. Some bangers on here even though it’s not my favourite genre.
Decent tunes, enjoyed the vocals too!
Alright, it's a bop. I was nodding my head.
I had no idea how well I would know this album. I’m not an aficionado when it comes to dance music so it must have just been via osmosis over the years. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected, in particular the slower tracks, but overall it was great. Will listen again for definite.
House progresivo. Me ha gustado. Un 4.