- 07 Dec 22
Excellent return by dance maestros.
This Is What We Do is just the fourth original album released in over 30 years by electro pioneers Leftfield. The title track – mixing early Bronx hip-hop, Space Invader synths, clanging cowbell, a Jane Fonda work-out and a ‘70s heist movie soundtrack – leaves you craving a proper dancefloor. No surprise there. Leftfield are head honchos of genre-melding.
Grian Chatten collaborates on the rampant ‘Full Way Around’ – Leftfield helmsman Neil Barnes’ has compared it to Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood and he’s on the money. The Fontaines D.C. frontman traverses a crucified city “in a crisscross cabbie”, mapping all he surveys.
On the aptly named ‘City Of Synths’, you sense a panorama of sentient machines going about their daily business of controlling the masses. The evocation of moving through a dystopian landscape is also marvellously projected on ‘Machines Like Me’, and again on Detroit techno workout ‘PULSE’, with its moments of sparkling beauty reminiscent of Kraftwerk.
Familiar faces from their groundbreaking debut, Leftism, also feature. Poet Lemn Sissay makes a sublime cameo on ‘Making A Difference’, while Earl Sixteen is similarly impressive on electro-reggae gem ‘Rapture 16’. Most of all, it’s the juxtaposition of elements that sets Leftfield apart. The delicate rhaita solo on ‘Heart And Soul’ is masterful, while the battle of jagged and ethereal synths on ‘Accumulator’ is equally wonderful. Whatever they do, they do it well!
Listen: ‘Full Way Around’
Out now via Virgin Records.
Read more album reviews and interviews in the new issue of Hot Press, out now.