Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

Songs Of Life: Leftfield’s Favourite Albums

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

After hearing the diverse nature of Leftfield’s much-anticipated third album Alternative Light Source, released in June, fifteen years after their previous, Rhythm And Stealth, Neil Barnes’ varied selections on his Baker’s list come as no surprise. With a fusion of grooves and melodies pulling influence from psychedelia to bass-driven classic electronics, Barnes’ eclectic tastes shine through in album tracks such as ‘Storms End’, founded on hypnotic hook lines and simple but captivating repetitive beats.

The producer, who formed Leftfield in 1989 with Paul Daley but has been working under the name solo since 2010, explains his appreciation for artists who leave behind gimmicks and instead forge memorable albums out of minimal sounds, with influences from reggae to modern electronic music making some considerable impact on the work of Leftfield. "Simply put, this record is minimal: simple drum machine and absolutely mad lyrics," he says, enthusing about Paranoid London’s debut from last year. "I think we need more of it, people just doing their own thing and not going near other stuff."

Just prior to his current run of live dates, Barnes took the time to talk us through his list of favourite albums, their influence on him as an artist and the reasons he holds them close to his heart.

Alternative Light Source is out now on Infectious Music. Leftfield’s UK and European tour continues at the Roundhouse in London on October 14; for full details and tickets, head here. Click on the image below to begin scrolling through Neil’s choices, which run in no particular order

First Record

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