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Baker's Dozen

Songs Of Life: Leftfield's Favourite Albums
Dom Smith , October 13th, 2015 09:32

As he continues his UK dates in support of this year's Alternative Light Source, Leftfield's Neil Barnes takes us on a tour of some seminal albums that shaped his music, alongside a few current favourites


Sleaford Mods - Key Markets
This is dance music in my head, because it has a relentless type of beat. I love the repeated melody. Musically, it's raw as well. Andrew [Fearn] does all the beats, I'm assuming, and then you've got the best, most interesting vocalist in the country at the moment singing on it. Jason [Williamson] is a massive talent, that's why I wanted to work with him and I was very lucky that he wanted to work with me on 'Head And Shoulders', which I'm very proud of. Adam Wren - who is massively important to making that record with me; that's the production team behind it - wrote the bass line and we were looking for a vocalist. I had been familiar with Sleaford's earlier stuff and somebody suggested them.

I think this is a very important record because nobody else is making music like this; now, people are starting to make music like this, because they kicked off a whole new thing. It's imaginative and a lot of people see it as this simplistic thing, but I see it the opposite way. I think it's complicated. I love 'No One's Bothered', I like the lyrics in it. Jason says things about life that no one wants to say. It's funny as well, tongue in cheek, which is the same with 'Head And Shoulders'. I was talking to Jason the other day about the lyrics to 'Head And Shoulders' and how everyone can interpret the lyrics their own way. I was thinking about it in terms of mass exploitation and the video we made, but then Jason said, "Yeah, it's just about getting old, mate."

This is a working class record. Now you've got records made by people who have advantages and what I love about them is that they've come from selling CDs at gigs. They come from a place that represents a whole part about our culture that's largely ignored in modern music. It's all about feel-good now. This is a real record made by real people without record companies saying what's going to be the single. I played all of it yesterday and I'm picking up bits of lyrics each time I haven't heard before and it makes me think about things.