Tom Ewing’s Top 100 Singles Of The 90s

The thing about the early Warp records is that even though the people involved had the potential and motivations to mess about making electronic artmusic (as borne out by virtually every Warp release since circa 1992), the entire scene was so dancefloor-driven that there could be simply no question of producing material that failed to move your body. LFO’s top-end more than nodded to the chilly romanticism of Derrick May, et al., but they manage to avoid the sense of repression and prissiness I hear in a lot of ‘classic’ Detroit material, mostly because of their inexorably clanking rhythms (the development and extreme deployment of sub-bass doesn’t hurt, either). May’s genteel futurism makes LFO sound deliciously thuggish in comparison – on “We Are Back” floaty techno chords are stomped to a nerveless mess by factory-size glockenspiels, and the irresistible forward march of the music is married perfectly to callous, cadence-free speak-and-spell voices.

LFO’s first single, the relatively calm bass-romp “LFO”, was attacked on-air by a particularly cretinous Radio 1 DJ as the worst record ever made. It’s these little touches that made you realise something beautiful was going on. For them to come back with a track as bovversome as “We Are Back” was a classy response.