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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


Francis Bebey - African Electronic Music 1975-1982
The first time I heard this was last year. There's a track called 'Divorce Pygmée' - again, there's a minimal drum machine and it's so modern. What I love about it is it sounds like it could have been made yesterday. It's so exciting, there are so many different grooves in it and it truly is a brilliant record.

There are two really brilliant Francis Bebey albums that came out last year: they're both reissues - one of them is electronic, which is this one, and the other is psychedelic. That's not on the list but it's called Psychedelic Sanza 1982-1984 and that's a brilliant record. People should hear it, it gets under your skin. One of the ways techno develops and goes into a trance-like state... that's what these records do. They're fifteen-minute tracks that go on and on and on and they take you, like jazz, into a place that you can only get to if you have a long record. It takes you into a trance-like state, but it's not trance - it's an African groove, but this one's different; it's drum machines and really loud, strange percussion and it's brilliantly recorded. I started as a percussionist playing a lot of Latin and African music; that's where I started and met Paul. You could take some of the rhythms on these albums and it could be a techno record - I can't stress how modern this record sounds.