5 Years of Leftroom
Founded in Nottingham in 2005 and hitting London in 2008, Leftroom is an example of how staying true to your core values leads to success. From its beginnings focusing on Berlin style blips and beeps and organically moving towards the more UK centered tech house sound that inspired it, the imprint’s penchant for bouncy, wobbling machine funk flows through the core of every release. From the tripped o......ut, glitchy madness of the early releases to the assured, off centre house that dropped in 2010 this compilation sums up half a decade of setting off parties and drops a few hints as to what the future has in store.
The retrospective compilation features 16 standout tracks that have worked floors worldwide. Centering around a core of producers and cherry picking from the hottest up-and-coming talent, Leftroom picked up on the likes of Ryan Crosson in 2006 and more recently Jimmy Edgar in 08.
Matt Tolfrey’s tireless A&R skills have allowed the label to seamlessly update their sound, scoring hits at every stage of their evolution. From the incisive bass line and cheeky melodies of Seph’s Bats and Sr Replicante’s purring Mala Leche, the intent to shun mediocrity was thrown down early. Included from this era is Marc Houle’s remix of Marc Ashken’s Nimrod that features on Ewan Pearson’s acclaimed mix for London’s fabric mix series.
Dub step poster boy Skream makes an appearance, throwing a real curve ball into the package, which underlines the diversity in the collection. This is balanced out by masterful techno outings by scene staples such Raudive when musically playing closer to home. Lunatik’s ,Yeahuhhuhrightthatsit is included as a landmark track, featuring on Don’t Be Leftout, Leftroom’s debut mix CD compiled by Matt himself, that marked the arrival of the label as a serious force.
The warm, chugging bassline of Lee Curtiss’ imposing remix of Jamie Jones’ The Trouble, signaled that house was central to the label’s future, marrying the US influence key to the label’s heritage that was formed at Nottingham’s seminal club, The Bomb. The influences of institutions, such as Tyrant were never far away, but today Leftroom has the maturity and gravitas to work this further into its signature beats.
Bringing things right up to date is one the latest names to emerge from Detroit, Eric Johnston, now a key figure in future plans as well as London’s Christopher Sylvester AKA Inxec and Mark Chambers. A future that if this summary of the past half decade’s adventures is anything to go by will continue to produce forward thinking dance music that refuses to be classified, except by the wobble.