“When we made Leftism, we made it for ourselves”: Neil Barnes on Leftfield and Live at Scorrier House
Leftfield first burst onto the the electronic scene back in the 1990s with seminal album Leftism. Orginally a collaboration between British duo Neil Barnes and Paul Daley, their record of dance music was hugely influential on the scene and in the way people viewed electronic music, bringing together house, dub and reggae influences, with guest vocalists from outside the genre, such John Lydon of Sex Pistols fame and Toni Halliday from Curve. Rhythm and Stealth continued a trajectory that brought their sound firmly into the mainstream, hitting number one on the UK album charts with mega tracks like Phat Planet.
Now, nearly three decades and another two albums on, Leftfield continue to push genre boundaries and keep audiences dancing at tour gigs and festivals across the world. Latest record This Is What We Do sees further eclectic influences and collaborations, such as with poet Lemn Sissay on Making a Difference and Fontaines DC frontman Grian Chatten on Full Way Round.
This weekend, Leftfield are set to play alongside Hot Chip at Live at Scorrier House, a one-day festival in Cornwall celebrating all things electronic music on an open-air stage. The Upcoming caught up with Barnes about what he has in store for the daytime rave, his latest album, keeping the volume high, and his reflections on how the electronic music scene has evolved.
Watch the video for the single Rapture 16 here: