“I’ve got to stand and fight…” Rediscovering Leftfield’s ‘Release The Pressure’ EP

Few opening tracks are as ethereally captivating as Release the Pressure, which opens Leftfield‘s debut album, Leftism.

The track was first released as a single in 1992, making a moderate dent in the UK dance charts, but following the success of Leftism, Neil Barnes and Paul Daley decided to give it another airing, and extended Release the Pressure EP was released on 8 January 1996, featuring four sumptuous additional reworkings of the original.

Original vocalist Earl Sixteen – the “I’ve got to stand and fight” line was taken from the reggae artist’s 1981 song Trials And Crosses – was joined by Cheshire Cat and Papa Dee on vocal duties, as the re-released cut made it to #13 in the pop charts.

It’s the four remixes, however, that showcase the full dexterity of Leftfield’s production nous.

Release The Pressure (Release One) is a breakbeat stomper, drenched in airy synths, while Release The Pressure (Release Two) verges into nu-dub territory, escalating into an acid frenzy at the close.

Release The Pressure (Release Three) is a more upfront variant on Release One, while Release The Pressure (Release Four) is an end-of-the-night voyage through the stars, set to a slowed-down dub rhythm.

Writing in Music Week at the time, Brad Beatnik described Release The Pressure as a “cool, soulful raga-fuelled track”, the double pack of remixes ranged from “straight techno dub and slow, skanking dub to two breakbeat-infused versions. Once again, the production quality is superb, and Leftfield provide plenty for the feet and the mind.”

You can listen to all four Release The Pressure remixes below.

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