LFO (British band)

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Mark Bell (LFO) on stage in Moscow.JPG
Mark Bell (LFO) on stage in Arma 17, Moscow, on 30 March 2013.
Background information
Origin Leeds, England, United Kingdom
Genres Electronica, techno, IDM, acid house, industrial dance
Years active 1988–1996
Labels Tommy Boy/Warner Bros. (U.S.)
Website LFO site at Warp Records
Past members Gez Varley (1988–1996)
Mark Bell (1988–2014)

LFO were a British 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 (born 1971) and Mark Bell (1971–2014).[1] After Varley left in 1996, LFO was Bell alone. Bell died in October 2014.

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


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.[2] 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."[3]

Later signed to Tommy Boy Records in the U.S., the duo remixed Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock", 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 track "Flu shot" was used in the 2005 video game Wipeout Pure.

The song "Freak" was used in the 2005 film Hard Candy and in the 2010 film Enter the Void. And also it was performed live by Björk as a mashup with her 1996 single "Hyperballad".

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. The original version of "LFO", albeit in the Leeds Warehouse Mix, featured on Warp's 10th anniversary album Warp 10+2: Classics 89–92.



  • LFO (1990) #12 UK – July 1990
  • We Are Back (1991) #47 UK – July 1991
  • What Is House? EP (1992) #62 UK – January 1992
  • Tied Up (1994) #99 UK – December 1994
  • Freak (2003)[4] #79 UK – September 2003



  1. ^ LFO's TV interview in the 1990
  2. ^ Frequencies credits
  3. ^ Unpublished interview with LFO
  4. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 309. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

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