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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


Codona - Codona 2
There are three Codona albums and they're all radical. This album was never left during the making of Leftism, it was never out of the studio. That's how important it is. It's on a very special jazz label, ECM, which is still putting out experimental jazz music. This record combined a great trumpet and horn player - Don Cherry, who was a big influence on me in the '80s - and great percussionists: Collin Walcott and Naná Vasconcelos. Vasconcelos was a percussionist from Latin America who played an instrument called a berimbau, which is on Leftism. The idea of using the berimbau came from the Latin records that we loved.

Maybe this is a dated record because so much has happened since, but there are three Codona albums and they're all stunning. Again, the big thing about it is the space in it, the room to breathe. It's not on top of each other, and it's beautifully recorded, as every ECM record is. It's all produced by one man, a man called Manfred Eicher and he's important to mention. Every ECM record, of which there are probably hundreds, has at the bottom "produced by Manfred Eicher". Two of the people who made the record are sadly no longer with us, but they have made stunning records individually. This record is a very important record to Leftfield.