Electronica Titans Leftfield Finally Return After 16 Years - Rolling Stone
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Electronica Titans Leftfield Return With First Music in 16 Years

Stream “Universal Everything,” off the new LP ‘Alternative Light Source’


Neil Barnes of Leftfield will release 'Alternative Light Source,' the group's first new album in 16 years, in June.

Nick Pickles/Getty

Leftfield are finally ready to release a follow-up to 1999’s Rhythm and Stealth. The British electro project, which notched a couple of minor U.S. dance hits with cinematic “Song of Life” and “Afro-Left” in the mid-Nineties, will put out a new, 10-track record – Alternative Light Source – on June 8th. They’ve also released a new, seven-minute exploration into electronic atmosphere, “Universal Everything” (streaming below), to accompany the news.

The original duo of Neil Barnes and Paul Daley split in 2002, though Barnes reactivated the group in 2010 and has been performing live as Leftfield ever since. In 2012, he issued the Leftfield live album and DVD Tourism.

The new album will be available on CD – available in a four-panel digipak – and double-LP on 180-gram vinyl; the LP edition contains a download card for the music. Both feature artwork by British visual artist Mark Wallinger.

Barnes posted studio notes to the Leftfield Facebook page throughout the making of the album, notably giving hints about the album’s contents on paper plates. One shows a number of abbreviations and comes with the note that it “doesn’t make much sense,” while another contains the phrase “use noisey [sic] kick in drop.”

In one update, which contained no paper plate, Barnes wrote about how touring had been influencing the music on what would become Alternative Light Source: “DJing means I’m discovering such exciting music, which is pushing us to be more original and innovative in the studio.”

In the Nineties, the duo put out two Mercury Prize–nominated albums, 1995’s Leftism and 1999’s Rhythm and Stealth. Both records featured interesting collaborations – the Sex Pistols’ and Public Image Ltd.’s John Lydon on the first and Afrika Bambaataa on the second – though Barnes has not yet announced any potential guests on the new record.

Barnes currently has four tour dates lined up – only in the U.K. – to take place in June, shortly after the release of Alternative Light Source.

Alternative Light Source Track List:

1. “Bad Radio”
2. “Universal Everything”
3. “Bilocation”
4. “Head and Shoulders”
5. “Dark Matters”
6. “Little Fish”
7. “Storm’s End”
8. “Alternative Light Source”
9. “Shaker Obsesssion”
10. “Levitate for You”


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