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Biography

LFO is an English electronic music act on the Warp Records label. LFO were pioneers of the bass-heavy techno, IDM, and acid house music of the late 1980s to mid-1990s. Originally, the group was composed of Gez Varley and Mark Bell. LFO is now Bell alone.

The group's name is derived from the abbreviation for the term low-frequency oscillator, a synthesizer function widely used in electronic music.

History

Varley and Bell met while studying at Leeds and gave their first track, the eponymous "LFO", to Nightmares on Wax. The popularity of the demo in clubs led to the track being released by the Sheffield-based Warp Records in 1990, and it was a Top 20 hit in the U.K., reaching number 12 in the singles charts in July.

Their follow-up single, "We Are Back", was released in the summer of 1991.

DJ Martin (Martin Williams) is credited as a cowriter and coproducer of the track "LFO" but was not a member of the group. Mark Bell explains:

"We gave a tape of our recordings to DJ Martin who helped loads with arranging our tracks so it'd work on the dancefloor. We'd just been messing around with drum machines since we were like thirteen, tapping away at them like they were arcade games, making tapes to play our mates at school. Anyway, DJ Martin would play our cassettes in his sets and people would go mental - in a good way - cos they were totally raw."

Later signed to Tommy Boy Records in the U.S., the duo remixed Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock", Erasure's Love to Hate You, as well as songs from Björk, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Laurent Garnier, and The Sabres of Paradise.

Varley left in 1996 and formed Feedback with Simon Hartley (a.k.a. Wild Planet). Mark Bell produced Homogenic with Björk and Exciter with Depeche Mode. Bell performed with Björk on her 1997 Homogenic tour and 2007/2008 Volta tour.

The song "Freak" was used in the 2005 film Hard Candy and in the 2010 film Enter the Void.

In 2009 the Warp20 (Recreated) compilation featured covers of two early LFO songs, "LFO" by Luke Vibert and "What is House? (LFO Remix)" by Autechre.


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