Not Forgotten

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik

Say 'Aaaahhh'

It’s 3am somewhere in South London, 1995, and the pills are kicking in.

The soundtrack? Leftfield. For untold thousands of young clubbers, the album Leftism is about to throw the biggest spanner in the works that they will ever experience.

The reason? It is the ultimate dance music album, and in combination with ecstasy and large sound systems, provides a compelling bridge to the burgeoning electronic music phenomenon. For a generation raised on guitars and acid, beer and aggressive rock mentality, it will be The One That Starts All The Trouble. From here on out dance music is taking no prisoners, and an army of new converts to the high church of hedonism is about to sign up.

From the dub-heavy Release The Pressure, the tribal voodoo of Afro-Left to ex-Sex Pistol John Lydon’s rock-fuelled anti-Hollywood ranting on Open Up, Leftism was the product of a diverse range of musical influences that came together to create something totally new. At a time when grunge was in its death throes, acid house had burnt out and pop music was as vapid as the talking heads that pimped it on MTV, the air was ripe with promise for a new sound. Along with The Chemical Brothers’ Exit Planet Dust and Underworld’s Dubnobasswithmyheadman, Leftfield’s first album was responsible for turning the world onto a new sensation. Many other artists and many other albums will lay claim to being there first, but they would be wrong.

Certainly, Derrick May, Marshall Jefferson and Frankie Knuckles et al were the Chicago & Detroit pioneers who generated a body of work that made the first forays into an otherwise rock- and disco-heavy world of dancefloors, but to a large extent these had remained a limited phenomenon, relegated to warehouse parties, underground clubs and gay bars. And although a well-established culture in England it had not, by 1995, taken the world by storm to the extent that the cult of the DJ as superstar had reached its international jetsetter pinnacle. ‘Cheese’ had yet to become associated with music or dancefloors, and dance music culture had yet to be co-opted by corporate greed for motives of profit.

All that would change in a few short years.

Here's Storm 3000. Enjoy.

2 comments so far.

  1. Kid Swelter February 25, 2008 at 2:17 PM
    I have it. I shall search for it, dust it off and give it the multiple playing it deserves. Thanks for the reminder! (They're a bunch of designers, as I recall. Never restrict yourself to one talent, I say.)
  2. . February 25, 2008 at 2:28 PM
    Hey, Kid S.
    Nice, dust away, play to your heart's content.
    Think you might be thinking of Underworld [on the design front] - they have an agency called Tomato that does epic work.
    Agreed on the multitasking: I can smoke, drink, DJ and talk to my mates - all at the same time!
    Ain't life grand?

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