Trackback Thursday: Release the Pressure by Leftfield

As a music fan I often play the ‘Desert Island Disc’ game of trying to decide which eight songs I would take with me into a life of solitude. Every time I do this I come up with a different list, and every one starts at far more than eight. The one track which is pretty much always one of the first of the list, and ALWAYS makes the cut, is ‘Release The Pressure’ by Leftfield. Actually it’s usually THE ONE that I take when asked to discard seven of my choices.

Whether it is my all time favourite record is perhaps moot, it is certainly a track that has been with me since its release in 1995. For me it is a song that has power, both within its music and its message of peace and unity. It is a track to dance to, to agree with and, more than anything else, it is just so positive and upbeat.

It is more than that though, because there are so many different elements that come together here that mean ‘Release the Pressure’, like much of the ‘Leftism’ album that it is taken from, is somehow outside genre existing in its own, er, leftfield space. Peace and unity are not only reflected in the lyrics… they are essential to the song’s structure, and that for me is the key.

Looking at the track forensically and you find layer upon layer of musical elements which gel together so well into a whole… a unity of sound resulting in a sort of holistic wall which is so strong that you feel that anything is possible.

Then there’s the beginning… oh man that near three minute build before the beat kicks in… just astounding… then the vocal kicks in at four minutes and I’m transported away… to the early hours of my birthday in 1997 sitting in an all night cafe in Leeds…. to countless ‘back to my place’ evenings… many many times when only this will do… the sheer joy of it and of my feelings when I listen to it.

Leftfield start to take the track home at about the six minute mark with some ace reggae sounds before we’re plummeted once again back into the maelstrom of the beat… I imagine being on my own on a deserted beach… just me, the music, and a feeling of supreme oneness and unity. A feeling that with this song in the world everything will be alright… a feeling of:




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