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Linkwood – From The Vaults Part 1 review

Linkwood returns with his first solo endeavour since 2009’s System long player, serving up what is surely his most incendiary release to date with the A-Side offering on this 12″ for Prime Numbers. Last year saw remixes for Australian producer Tornado Wallace, plus a superb codeine-inspired refix of Appleblim and Al Tourette’s “Mr Swishy”, but no original material, and thus From The Vaults Pt 1 marks a welcome return to the fold.

Alongside House Of Traps and Fudge Fingas, the Edinburgh based producer is an integral part of the close knit Firecracker family, which pushes an eclectic sound that touches on everything from deep house and techno to disco, funk and soul. Although inexorably linked to Firecracker, Linkwood has developed close ties with Manchester-based Prime Numbers – indeed the aforementioned System was released on Trus’me’s imprint, and he’s also contributed to a couple of PN compilations in the past. Fudge Fingas also released his album with the label earlier this year, thus allowing Firecracker to remain an exclusive outpost for those extra special 10″s that come by every so often.

The first part in the new From The Vaults series, this EP contains tracks that were made between the years 1997 and 2011. “Dirty Love” calls shotgun, bossing the A Side with the sort of rough around the edges house flex that demands movement of your feet; it’s bleepy warehouse filth, filled with one joyous piano breakdown after another. Alien noises flutter around the searing burn as a multiplicity of rhythmic shifts elevate the track into something truly devastating.

From the euphoric heights of the A Side, the flip transposes you to the murky depths of house music potential with two untitled jams channelling Larry Heard. “Two” is all meandering drums, gently floating synths and pleasing keys. “Three”, meanwhile, unfurls into something quite bewitching as immaculately produced strings and a deep bassline combine to hypnotic effect. More please Mr Linkwood.

Aaron Coultate