1000 Albums Project

ALBUM 109

Leftism, by Leftfield
Suggested by Alex Hamilton

There are countless ways to use music.

You can use it as a storyteller, to people-watch. Johnny used to work on the docks. Union’s been on strike, he’s down on his luck. It’s tough.

You can use it as a balm, to salve wounded emotions. She may have left me and taken the TV, but damnit, I Will Survive. As long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive.

You can use it to incite, to rouse. Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses. F**k you, I won’t do what you tell me.

You can use it as an exercise. Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your booty, shake your booty.

Personally, I use it as a motivator. 1000 albums, one year, three reviews a day. It’s a kick up the arse, forming a writing habit. As Henry Rollins says: It’s time to shine, it’s Hero Time.

Leftism, by Leftfield, is to be used as a call to the dancefloor.

I lead a largely sedentary life, much to my shame. Cardio is abhorrent to me. As such, Leftfield style trancey dancey music, as an artform, is something I’ve largely ignored. I’m not one for the mesmeric drumbeat and the four-hour rave session, all vests and sweat and lasers and dry ice and drugs and bottled water. The movement I offer up to the dancefloor is the flailing mosh or the directionless pogo, both delivered in short sharp sprints.

I concede that Leftism does have something more than my blanket prejudices allow me to hear. The flow is mesmeric, and the worldly influences are attractive and well worked. And the sounds is layered, and it does build, and the tracks are distinct and memorable, and above all danceable. It’s just, well… bland.

The issue I have with dance of this type is that is remains static for far too long. I understand why, and I’m not asking for the invention of Prog Dance (actually, that’d be pretty damn funny, bring it on). I just find that no matter how beautiful the beat and how lost-in-it the music demands I be, I’m always waiting for the change up, the twist, the next moving part. To put it bluntly, it bores me.

Some songs bore me less than others. My favourite, the tribal beat of Afro-Left, got my head bobbing and my toes tapping, which makes me sound so damn old that I could be choking on a Werther’s Original. Open Up was also pretty cool, but overall I’m underwhelmed by the experience.

I give Leftism a generous 5/10, knowing that I’m committing high sacrilege in the Church of Dance. It’s not Leftfield’s fault. I’m just a Dance Agnostic.

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