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Rhythm & Stealth
Rhythm & Stealth
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Neil Barnes and Paul Daley, the Leftfield masterminds behind 1995's sumptuous dance stew Leftism, have gone one better with Rhythm and Stealth. A little darker than its predecessor, the long-awaited sophomore effort clearl...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Leftfield
Title: Rhythm & Stealth
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 4
Label: Sony
Original Release Date: 9/21/1999
Release Date: 9/21/1999
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop
Styles: Electronica, House, Dance Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 074646852927

Neil Barnes and Paul Daley, the Leftfield masterminds behind 1995's sumptuous dance stew Leftism, have gone one better with Rhythm and Stealth. A little darker than its predecessor, the long-awaited sophomore effort clearly ranks with dance music's most versatile and human albums, ranging from big blocking dance-floor beats to waves of ambient melancholy, all framed bewitchingly as actual songs. Kicking in hard with the sub-thumping hip-hop trip of "Dusted" and uppercutting it with a spacey "Phat Planet", the momentum is maintained by the looping pyscho-techno mantra of "Double Flash." It is "El Cid," all sleepy, warm, sunny Sunday mornings, that offers the first hint of the richer personality to come. And while "Afrika Shox" rattles cages and "Swords" is undeniably addictive, the lush mystery of "Reno" best personifies the beauty and brilliance of this album. The song encompasses the aura of Nusrat Fatah Ali Kahn with an enormous, beautiful bottom end and engaging waves of samplers used like strings. Rhythm and Stealth is a unique entity, the best of electronic sound, with an organic, real heart pumping away inside. --Steffan Chirazi

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CD Reviews

Shame Leftfield are no more eh?
ross roberts | 08/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm only 20 and I had no idea who Leftfield were til '99. My brother played me the original version of 'Song of Life' in 99 and kept banging on how amazing 'Leftism'is. I could not stop playing it. I still can't I admit. Still,I bought 'Rhythm and Stealth' that year and was amazed how good this is. 'Dusted' is a raw hard hop track with the magic of Roots Manuva over it.(Though I admit I hate hip-hop). 'Phat Planet', the guiness ad track is an amazing track and the album pace is kept until 'El Cid'. 'Afrika Shox' with Afrika Bambaataa is really catchy! Dub Gusset'(what a name for a track,sniff!),is a nice dark breaks number with the cool zappy dial twiddling which brings us nicely into the hypnosis of 'Swords' with the eerie vocals of Toni Halliday. The album ends nicely on a very dark tip with the awesome '6/8 War' and that's topped off with 'Rhino's Prayer' which is a dark breakbeat number with heavy sub-bass rhythms. All in all this is an album which will be in my faves of all time. Maybe not up there with Leftism with it's legacy, but still one that will keep Leftfield's spirit burn forever..."
Flying In Under The Radar
Mark Eremite | Seoul, South Korea | 07/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It's hard to top an act like Leftfield's Leftism, one of electronica's most stunning achievements in the past ten years or so. Treading cautiously and patiently after this breakthrough success in 1995, Leftfield re-emerged four years later with this album, "Rhythm and Stealth."

The title is a misnomer. Although as technically proficient as its forerunner, "Rhythm and Stealth" toes a bleaker line. There's still the trademark UK-dub, the intoxicating mesh of stratospheric techno with the circadian flow of Leftfield's talented breakbeats. But there's also heavier veins of industrial gearbox, the fat shadows of something that I would call deep house if it weren't so angry and sullen.

It's not bad. The opening track, "Dusted," is habit-forming, a thrumming slice of dreamy trip-hop warmed up by the distinctive flair of Roots Manuva. "Afrika Shox" (featuring Afrika Bambaata) has all the marks of a back alley club pleaser with its drilling undercurrent of hard house headiness. And the collaboration with Cheshire Cat ("Chant of a Poor Man") is a deceptive and absorbing electro-reggae number, one of the best tracks on the whole set.

Even the more militant tracks -- "Phat Planet" and "Double Flash" and "Dub Gussett" and "6/8 War" -- are hard not to like. Leftfield's ear for dueling beats and the harmonies of uncomplementary tones gives everything a fresh, invigorating energy. But there's something distinctly sterile and robotic to the mood in all of these pieces, as if they were first designed by a computer and then lovingly smudged with human hands. It doesn't make them bad, but it sometimes casts them in an unflattering light, making the songs less grounded, giving them the digital pall of a dial-up modem's screech.

Certainly the more liquid bits ("El Cid"), the soft spacy parts ("Swords"), and the unapologetic dreaminess ("Rino's Prayer") are reminiscent of Leftfield's first album, and these set pieces make one mindful of where this electronica duo came from. And their talent in "Rhythm," while not quite so cohesive, is no less muted. I wouldn't say they're as stealthy here as they were at the start of their careers, but they are just as inventive and fresh. While "Rhythm" won't ever be an album to love, it's a hard one not to like."
Bustin' Down the Doors
MrB | MurderMile | 12/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Unlike Leftism there is no instant gratification to be had with this album, nevertheless, it repays the diligent listener with it's own has a much harder, meaner edge to it than Leftism. Roll with it though brothers & sisters - no party worth a damn is complete without 'Double Flash' pumped to the max. There are a couple of weaker tracks but 'Swords' & 'Phat Planet' are worth 10:29 of anyone's listening time."