leftfield-alternative-live-source

Twenty years ago, Leftfield’s 1995 debut, ‘Leftism’ emerged as one of ’90s dance music’s defining albums. In 1999, ‘Rhythm and Stealth’ bludgeoned a powerful path through the noughties with the sonic boom of ‘Phat Planet’. Sixteen years after that release, and a founding member down, ‘Alternative Light Source’ represents Leftfield 2.0.

Some of the raw, seismic power of those ’90s anthems has dissipated but there’s still depth to the swimming dubstep of ‘Storm’s End’ and a satisfyingly nostalgic backbone to the slashing binary beat of the speaker-rattling ‘Shaker Obsession’. And where ‘Universal Everything’ drives towards familiar big beat ambition, it’s the collaborations that grab the interest.

Where TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe provides the low-frequency menace to the cyborg darkness of ‘Bad Radio’, and Poliçia’s Channy Leaneagh adds a sultry, feminine touch to the Higher State… build of ‘Little Fish’, Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson’s turn on ‘Head and Shoulders’ feels at odds with the track’s subterranean Flat Beat wobble. It doesn’t work this time but it’s the only misstep on a resoundingly welcome return.

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