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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


John Carpenter - Assault On Precinct 13
Again, this is a record that was re-released a couple years ago. To me, it's the best John Carpenter film and I thought I should put some film music in here, because Leftfield were very influenced by film music. It's the strings and it's a very simple melody. It was recorded in one day and it's a film score. This record goes on before Leftfield play live. It's the melody and the minimal nature of the production. It was three guys experimenting in the studio and they had one day to make it I think. The first track is really what it's about and the rest of the album is just broken down versions of that track, which I also like.

The scene with the ice cream vendor where the child is shot is the most shocking scene. What we were all influenced by was the strings. That's a big thing in Leftfield, it's the melody of the strings. It has that moody, Germanic string line which reminded me of early Kraftwerk and all these German people that he was listening to and put on this record. At the time there's big spaces of nothing happening whereas now you go see a film and every bit is filled up with sound, like an attack on your ears. It's a brilliant piece of music and this is probably the best scene of the film.

His music was such a big influence on me. I was in the studio once not that long ago, at the beginning of making the record, and I heard this music coming up from the floors and I said, "That's John Carpenter". We spent about half an hour trying to work out which track it was - it was Hudson Mohawke playing John Carpenter and we had a big chat about how we both love him. His music influences a lot of people making new music as well, deep beneath the surface.