There are a few artists and band on the short list for Hall Of Fame entries but with the unfortunate event of October with the legend that was Mark Bell sadly passing away, it seemed timely to bump LFO to the top of the list. LFO, originally Mark Bell and Gez Varley, later Bell alone, consistently pushed the boundaries of electronic music whether with their own music, reMixes or production for the likes of Bjork and Depeche Mode. Pioneers and innovators of UK House, Techno, IDM and Electro, LFO need little introduction so instead I’ll here’s what they meant to me.
I’ve made no secret of my love for early 90s Bleep House (which is what we called it at the time, these days I’ve heard people use terms like Yorkshire Bleep ‘N’ Bass or Bleep Techno), I mention it on these pages quite a lot and referred to it as my first, and fondest, dance music love. It all started with LFO. It was early summer 1990. As a kid I has dabbled with various different kinds of music. SynthPop hand-me-downs from my Brother got me started any stayed with me for life. Electro Hip Hop was the first music I was into that was ‘mine’ and I consumed it with a passion. Back them it was hard to separate Hip Hop and House, the few late night underground radio shows that did play one always played the other so my exposure to, and interest in, House music was quietly growing. It was work experience time at school (remember work experience week? Do they still do that?) and I had sneakily arranged for myself to do a weeks work in one of two specialist dance music record shops in Bristol (Tribe Of One on Frogmore Street). The week there was mostly spent smoking and listening to Hip Hop and House (learning great work skills for the future!); and then on Wednesday the new shipment of records came in. LFO’s LFO was amongst them, just released. The record selling part of the shop was in the basement, the upstairs being the only place in Bristol you could get Hip Hop and Club fashion, imported from London and New York, and that morning, whilst walking down the stars I hear this otherworldly Sci-Fi synth riff and a speaker shaking bass. Even now when I hear it I am taken back to that shop in 1990, smells and all. I was enraptured with this sound LFO had produced. Futuristic and menacing, enigmatic yet irresistibly funky, so began my brief love affair with Bleep House. I say ‘brief’ because the scene itself didn’t last very long but it set me on the course that led me to where I am today. The news of Mark Bell’s death earlier this year genuinely saddened me and I’m honoured to be able to bestow our Hall Of Fame award on LFO. It’s pretty meaningless, but it means something to me.
♫ LFO – LFO (Leeds Warehouse Mix)
♫ LFO – Probe
♫ LFO – Track 4
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