This Belfast-born stalwart has been an underground mainstay for almost 20 years. He continually operates at the sharp end of the scene with a mix of cutting-edge sound designs and compelling rhythms imbued with found sound and spoken word details. He’s had high-profile support from tastemakers like Laurent Garnier, DVS1 and Truncate and following on from a strong series of EPs in recent years, he is now back with a superb full-length.
Healing Time was written over the last few years, with three previously released tracks edited and revisited. The name refers to the creative process during and after the pandemic, and it finds him exploring new vocal depths as he steps up to the microphone. Says the artist “this album is an observation of thoughts and feelings, taking risks using vocals to express myself also dealing with frustration and the uncertainty of the difficulties of life we all faced during and after the pandemic, the forced direction of those in power, conflicts, power struggles, hopes and freedom of choice within that”
Opener ‘Healing Time’ is a kinetic mix of breakbeats and surging basslines, with vocals pleading for more time and adding a sense of melancholy. The crunchy and physical ‘Old School Fool’ twists heavy bass and techno breaks into a dance floor whirlwind, and ‘Hazy Chains’ is a lithe, elastic and bass-heavy rhythm with dark, distorted vocals bringing the menace. Linear B’s uncompromising, strobe-lit and heart of the dance floor style is laid bare again with the bouncing rhythms and aloof vocals of ‘Sleeping Dogs Lie’, industrial sounds and dark vocals of ‘Aint Messing Around’ and stripped-back techno-paranoia of ‘Temptress’.
The second half of the album doesn’t let up with the likes of ‘Long In The Booth’ layering up panel-beaten loops and trippy synth lines and ‘Shimmy and Shake’ bringing sleek synth lines and well-treated futurist vocals to a minimal but potent rhythm. ‘Surrounded at Dawn’ is a hulking great house cut with well-swung drums and zoned-out Depeche Mode-style emo vocals, while ‘Finding Rainbows’ ends on fizzing synth lines and gurgling acid which cannot fail to sweep up the dance floor as the vocals up top bring serene human tones.
This is a fantastic and forward-thinking album from Linear B, which arrives on the 6th of October.