Currently enjoying “Rhythm and Stealth” by Leftfield

An excellent album from a group that sadly didn’t quite seem to get the widespread attention granted to a lot of their contemporaries in the ill-fated field of “electronica,” like Underworld, the Chemical Brothers and the Prodigy. 1999′s Rhythm and Stealth was Leftfield’s second and final proper album, and it’s one that deservedly endures.

Much rougher and darker than their debut – which never really did it for me, frankly – Rhythm and Stealth combines dub, techno and hip hop in ways that were groundbreaking at the turn of the century. There’s not a single weak track on this eclectic album, and the wide range of guests vocalists – including Roots Manuva, Rino, Cheshire Cat, Nicole Willis and Afrika Bambaataa – are showcased to the point of shining instead of simply dropping in to do a quick guest appearance.

For an album that’s so representative of its time – from a duo that so many of the artists of that time would call an inspiration – Rhythm and Stealth is album that still sounds fresh and fitting over a decade later. If you can get your hands on a copy, it’s well worth a listen.

By the way, it looks like Leftfield is reforming for a live performance in Scotland this summer. However, it seems unlikely that any new material will come about as a result.

Posted in Currently Enjoying

2 Responses to “Currently enjoying “Rhythm and Stealth” by Leftfield”

  1. That’s a great album. I’m surprised they didn’t keep making music. How can you go wrong with Techno and Roots Manuva?

  2. rishi says:

    I absolutely love their first album. It was my first CD ever and easily makes my “deserted island” list.

    IMO, the first album needs to be cranked on speakers with an essentially bottomless bottom-end in order for all dimensions of the tracks to be appreciated. Their touring soundsystem was still destroying buildings at this point in their career, and those destructive frequencies are definitely captured in the first album.

    Here is their first track:

    I think it paints a pretty good picture of the progression from the favoured house sound of the time towards Leftism.