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The repressing of LFO’s debut album, 20 years after its release, is a perfect time to look back at what remains a defining album for the group and a crucial release in the rise of Warp.
‘LFO (Leeds Warehouse Mix)’ still sounds as deadly today as it would have done to acid-house ravers at the time of its release, with an enviable siren riff and acid drums which are sci-fi futurism at its best. ‘Freeze’ is a masterclass in slow build, with a slippery synth hook gradually accumulating robot vocals and earthy percussion lines, while ‘We Are Back’ challenges the Detroit classics for bizarre funk with its machine vocals, incessant marimba and twinkling synthesisers.
It is the quality in depth of the record which explains its far-reaching influence, with incendiary house anthems like ‘Love is the Message’ rubbing shoulders with blunted hip-hop beauty ‘Think a Moment’ in a way which seems like a tour of the tropes of Warp’s ‘90s artists, from Squarepusher to Autechre. ‘Tan Ta Ra’ more explicitly reminds of the mind-altering, meditative quality to much of the music, which draws as much from propulsive minimalism as the greats of dance music, again evidencing a wide-ranging vision which characterises both the group and label’s output.
The deluxe, double-vinyl reissue of this title includes 'Groovy Distortion' and 'Track 14', both never previously released on vinyl.