1995, Music

Leftism (1995) by Leftfield

My knowledge of electronic music is confined primarily to the very early days of the genre, with a few (mostly ambient) records since. My knowledge of dance music is even more limited. My knowledge of House – specifically the niceties involved in defining the different subgenres of House – is basically non-existent. So I have no idea what to do with this.

What I can say is that I find this stuff pretty dull. Whether or not there are lyrics the music basically does nothing for me. (And I must say that dance music lyrics…well, they don’t do anything for me. Dance music is one of those genres where the lyrics are a complete afterthought.) I actually have a hot take of a personal preference that likely confuses the hell out of fans of this stuff: I think I like ambient electronic music – and basically every other kind of electronic music – more than electronic music that exists primarily to dance to. So maybe that’s why I am just at a loss with this.

I also just don’t have the context, right? Sometimes when I listen to an album in a genre I know nothing about, I at least know something about the history of music which lets me at least appreciate its role. Q says “It’s hard to overestimate the significance of Leftism, roundly acknowledged upon its release in 1995 as the first truly complete album experience to be created by house musicians and the first quintessentially British one.” But this is basically meaningless to me. I don’t know anything about the history of House and I have no idea about the differences between American and UK House. I can definitely assume they are telling the truth, and if I was sure of that maybe I would bump up the rating a bit. But the one thing I know about House is that it had existed for nearly a decade – if not a decade – at this point. So I’m skeptical.

Listen: there is nothing wrong with this. I can’t find anything technically wrong with it. Maybe it is some kind of coherent musical statement. Maybe it’s one of the great House albums. But all I hear is a bunch of generic dance tracks that I don’t remember the moment I stop listening to it.


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