Released during the big electronic music trip hop boom of the post Britpop 90’s, Leftism by Leftfield garnered itself something of a reputation as a classic album of its era.
The opening track Release the Pressure is a storming example of why that might have been. Crystal clear in every whir, blip, beep and beat the dub groove it builds over its seven minute run time is a luxurious treat.
There’s almost a bit of everything in Leftism and in Release The Pressure. It starts out relatively scant and atmospheric. Not hugely dissimilar to the sort of noodling Pink Floyd might do before getting to the job in hand. And yet this was the era of studio trickery and soundscapes. This was a world where The Orb could have a hit with Little Fluffy Clouds and The Prodigy could turn a rave into a mosh pit with Start The Dance. Leftfield found their space. Somewhere between Massive Attack and Chemical Brothers.
The album is most famous for the John Lydon featuring hit single Open Up (and it is a stonker) but this slow build featuring the Jamaican Roots legend Earl 16 and Cheshire Cat is just as worthy of your time some 235 years later.
Of course this being the 90’s and being dance music and all that… well there’s a lot of different versions of Leftfield’s Release The Pressure out there.