Linkwood - Fresh Gildans

  • A much-loved house producer does electro funk.
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  • At the start of "Fresh Gildans," the A-side from Linkwood's latest EP, a robotic voice rails against racism, the elite, the "darkside taking over" and "the onslaught of mediocrity." The music that follows isn't the deep house for which the Edinburgh-based producer is best known, but 150-BPM electro funk with the musicality of a Mr. De' track. That might seem like an out-of-nowhere turn, but I was reminded of Linkwood's 2009 LP, System, where some tracks echoed the '80s Detroit radio music mined by ghettotech producers for samples. "Fresh Gildans" could be viewed as a high-spec update of that style. The burbling circuits in the midrange, passed through lots of dials and filters, fuel the rhythm's manic energy. The '80s synth funk chords have a clean, optimistic hue. Though the form is different, "Fresh Gildans" highlights two consistent themes of Linkwood's music: rich, exacting sound design and transportive melodies. "Another Late Night" finds Linkwood back in low-key house mode. Its pensive melody twists and turns, but somehow avoids tying itself into knots—even as the sequence sneaks into offbeats and bass notes, the cool midnight air it summons hangs thick. The sound design is no less appealing—a shaker, for example, sweeps like a broom across a concrete floor. "Solar Panel" draws from similar textural ambiguities. You can hear what sounds like birdsong, clucking hens and electronic babble through wing flutters, pulsing acid and soothing ambient layers. This mix of natural and man-made sounds is an echo of the sort of landscapes you see on certain roads leading out of Edinburgh, where fields and hillsides are planted with wind turbines. Linkwood channels that odd beauty with typical ease.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Fresh Gildans B1 Solar Panel B2 Another Late Night