Langue disponible : anglaisThe Sheffield techno duo of Mark Bell and Gez Varley have a reputation that, at first glance, might seem to exceed their abilities. Having released only two records and not many more singles while they worked together, the pair's apparently meager contribution would hardly seem to bear out the claim that they were one of British techno's most important, agenda-setting groups. Nonetheless, early singles such as "We Are Back," "Freeze," and "Love Is the Message" from their debut Frequencies, as well as "Tied Up" from their second disc, Advance, have indelibly marked British techno with Detroit's progressiveness, electro's funk, and an unflinching, uniquely British experimentalism. Taking their name from the foundational component of the synthesizers -- the low frequency oscillator (kind of like calling a rock group "Power Chord") -- the pair were approached by the Sheffield-based Warp label in the late '80s after tapes the pair had put together on some junky, second-hand equipment caught the ears of local DJs and the dancefloors of local clubs. Both Bell and Varley admit to roots in the early- and mid-'80s hip-hop and electro invasions, as well as the more obvious British acid house explosion, and their affectation for thick, electronic breaks, vocoder samples, and sparse, modal melodies derived largely from that source. (LFO were also one of only a few -- with 808 State and Coldcut -- to find domestic reissue through the New York-based hip-hop label Tommy Boy, making obvious a connection between British experimental techno and American hip-hop and electro-funk.) Releasing their bass-heavy debut in 1991 to universal acclaim, the pair were silent for the next five years, with rumors of a follow-up surfacing from time to time failing to produce anything. Reportedly working with early Depeche Mode member Alan Wilder and Karl Bartos of Kraftwerk (none of that material has ever seen light), LFO finally resurfaced in 1995 with the ironically titled "Tied Up," followed several months later by Advance. The group also remixed tracks for Björk and the Sabres of Paradise, but dissolved the partnership soon after. Varley went on to a solo career, while Bell began an intermittent production career, working on tracks for Björk's Homogenic LP of 1997 and Depeche Mode's Exciter from 2001. After resolving what Warp called his mid-range crisis, Bell returned with the third LFO full-length, Sheath, in the fall of 2003 (officially, it was the first without Varley). ~ Sean Cooper
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Techno - Paru le 29 janvier 1996 | Warp Records
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En fondant LFO, Mark Bell (décédé en 2014 à seulement 42 ans) et Gez Varley lancent l’un des plus importants tandems d’électro britanniques des années 90. Et les deux premiers albums qu’ils enregistreront pour Warp, comptent parmi les plus influents publiés par le célèbre label. LFO sera étonnamment précurseur conjuguant les valeurs du dancefloor avec pas mal de jus de cerveau. En mêlant trance, new age, ambiant, techno de Detroit, house de Chicago mais aussi une approche plus clinique et européenne (vous avez dit Kraftwerk ?), LFO sut trouver son propre son d’entrée de jeu. Après Frequencies, acte de naissance de cette vision unique portée par des basses maousses et paru en 1991, Bell et Varley épurent leur art et le rendent plus intellectuel comme le montre cet Advance publié en 1996. © MD/Qobuz
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