Linkwood returns to AOTN in 2022 with Stereo, the follow up and part two, to his killer and hyper focussed LP Mono, which turned heads in 2021. All recorded live at the AOTN studio, he’s kept the essence of the first LP which worked so well, but moved it on in a much deeper direction. Fusing many of his influences, Boogie, Detroit and early 80’s synth joints to name a few, stereo has its own identity and showcases Linkwoods ability to write and produce on the fly but maintain that warm, fuzzy and intricate sound we all love him for.
For the first in a series of reinterpretations of material from Linkwood’s superb Expressions album, Firecracker Recordings has turned to deep house veterans Ghosts of the Sky (AKA Chicagodeep and Taelue), and fast-rising machine abusers Nummer. The latter trot off on an aquatic techno tip, turning the becalmed and melancholic “Love Lost” into a techno-tempo stroll through vintage Carl Craig chords, sweaty machine percussion, and yearning melodies. There’s a warmer and heavier, if surprisingly stripped back, feel to Ghosts of the Sky’s version of “Object”, with spluttering electronics and sumptuous chords stretching out over a rich synth bassline and hissing, cymbal-heavy groove.
Hot Shot Sounds label with former Virgo Four producer Merwyn Sanders teaming up with Inkswel on a heavy hitting platter that has a pair of killer remixes tucked away on the B Side. Ultra cool funk drenched tracks, with remixes by Linkwood and Gifted & Blessed (aka GB). New label coming from the Peoples Potential Unlimited guys.
Perpetual Rhythms is a new Chicago label run by Nick Marshall, AKA Taelue and Victor Aguinaga aka Chicagodeep. This debut EP from the imprint features tracks by Taelue, Chicagodeep and Specter, and also hits us with a Linkwood edit.
Three new tracks, and the third in a row of releases for the prolific Mr. Fingas. Backed up by fellow Firecracker, Linkwood, this originally came out as a limited 50 copy run release early this year and sold out within minutes. Fingas kicks off proceedings with “Untyltled” – a record that could only come out of the Firecracker camp. Taking inspiration from Detroit and Chicago but giving it that distinctly Firecracker sound – heavy on the keyboard motifs, high fidelity, musically accomplished and well produced. Meandering bleepy melodies contrast with gliding synthlines and a ravey, M1-type bassline. The movement between sections is seamless and will take people on an intoxicating musical journey. Linkwood steps up on side B, “Secret Value” has mysterious, seductive key changes and atmospheres; 16 bar acid sections building up and dropping into lush, blessed-out micro-solos of synthesized flute and exquisite pads. A sonic buffet served to perfection. Finally we get one of Firecrackers trademark interludes, “Minus 616” is a beautifully crafted, neo-classical piano piece. Reverberated into the distance, the piano playing is skillful and emotive and the strange outboard effect it’s processed through gives it that otherworldly, tripped-out vibe.
Linkwood returns home to the Firecracker fold with a monumental EP for sister label Shevchenko. Containing three beautiful and timeless pieces of house music, the release also precedes the producer’s long awaited LP on Firecracker early in 2012.