Leftfield are a duo of electronica artists and record producers, Paul Daley (formerly of A Man Called Adam and the Brand New Heavies) and Neil Barnes formed in 1989 in London, England. The pair were pioneers in the fields of intelligent dance music.
Their downtempo music style has inspired a genre which has been recognised as simply leftfield, with several charts appearing in magazines such as DJ magazine and Mixmag. The genre is also known as Chill out.
Leftfield is well-known to a mainstream UK audience for their track Phat Planet, which soundtracked the "Surfers" TV advertisement for Guinness, ranked #1 in Channel 4's Top 100 Adverts list in 2000. They have also released a series of singles and two acclaimed albums before breaking up in 2002 to focus on solo projects.
Their first major hit was Open Up, a collaboration with John Lydon; soon followed by their debut album, Leftism, in 1995, blending dub, breakbeat and techno especially called Uk-dub.
Rhythm and Stealth
Their second and final album, Rhythm and Stealth (1999) maintained a similar style but with a harder, bleaker techno edge, and featured such artists as Roots Manuva, Afrika Bambaataa and MC Cheshire Cat from Birmingham. The album was shortlisted for the 2000 Mercury Music Prize.
At the very first Leftfield gig, in Amsterdam, the Dutch police was close to arresting the soundman due to the soundsystem reaching illegal volumes. At the next concert, this time in Belgium, 30 people were given refunds after complaing that the sound was too loud. This lead to a headline reading "Leftfield Too Loud". And in June 1996, while the group was playing at Brixton Academy, the soundsystem brought dust and plaster to fall from the roof, and subsequently the group was banned from ever returning to the venue.
- Leftism (1995) #3 UK
- Rhythm and Stealth (1999) #1 UK
- A Final Hit - The Greatest Hits (October 2005) #32 UK