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Two decades on: 12 albums that will still blow you away

1995 was a very, very decent year for dance music

  • MIxmag staff
  • 24 July 2015

A lot happened in 1995: Princess Diana gave that TV interview opening up about her extramarital activities, Toy Story blew the film game apart by becoming the first computer-generated animation movie in history, the invention of the DVD was announced and, possibly the most jaw-dropping of all, Vauxhall revved up petrol heads with the unveiling of the beastly Vectra model. What's not fondly remembered in wider culture, though, is the importance of that year in dance music. Here, we fill the void by giving you a run-through of 12 classic albums and compilations (in no particular order) released two decades ago.

1 Goldie 'Timeless'

Where to start with this one? The Metalheadz master's debut album has gone down in history and it's the absolute pinnacle of drum 'n' bass LPs. The gold-toothed yoga enthusiast called it 'Timeless' for a reason and it sure sounds relevant today, 'Inner City Life' (which made our Greatest Dance Tracks Of All Time list) and 'Angel' still beaming with beauty during every listen. In our '95 end-of-year round-up we said it'd get "rewound and rewound and rewound at countless jungle raves", and it'd be no different nowadays. It was only right that it was the first album to be released on his, Kemistry and Storm's 'headz label (as well as London Records/FFRR), opening the way for further albums from his other project Rufige Kru, Commix and Lenzman. It's so classic now that he's been performing it with the Heritage Orchestra at the Southbank Centre in London.

2 Leftfield 'Leftism'

"The single most influential production team in British dance music," we once said about Neil Barnes and Paul Daley, the latter who's no longer involved with the project. They'd been releasing for five years before this wide-eyed, spell-binding LP arrived on Hard Hands and Columbia and they really didn't foresee the impact it'd have. "We put a lifetime of dance ideas into our debut album, 'Leftism', but the massive success was totally unexpected," Barnes recently told the Guardian. So much so that they even found themselves performing album cut 'Original' on Top of the Pops with Curve singer Toni Halliday. 20 years on, Barnes' just completed an album hat-trick as Leftfield with 'Alternative Light Source'.

3 Autechre 'Tri Repetae'

If Transformers was to be an album, this would surely have to be it. Mechanical rips and screeches aplenty, Rochdale duo Rob Brown and Sean Booth really went to Weirdsville on this, even though it's fairly normal compared to 1997 follow-up 'Chiastic Slide'. From mutant opener 'Dael' to the shredding synths of 'Rotar', Warp Records is a fitting home for it. The album notes state it sounds better on vinyl due to "surface noise" so we're afraid the link below won't do it full justice. Better get on Discogs if you wanna get the most out of it.

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