Linkwood is Producer, Engineer and DJ Nick Moore. You’ll find this delightful bit of information all over the web, but not much more. He rarely does interviews preferring to let his DJing and music speak for itself. And it does. Fortunately, he’s made an exception for The Orange Press in anticipation of his upcoming appearance at Sydney’s Lioness party.
Those who already know the name Linkwood would know him for his releases on Firecracker Records, especially ‘Miles Away’ and ‘Piece of Mind’, as well as his debut album System for Prime Numbers.
In that time he has travelled the world and managed to produce a new album due for release in the very near future.
Here’s what he had to say for himself.
You grew up in Bristol in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, that was a pretty special time and place for electronic and dance music; can you tell us a bit about those days, why you think there was so much creativity coming from there and how this in turn influenced you?
Yeah Bristol’s just a great city… It’s got a huge Jamaican influence obviously which comes through in the music and the West Country had amazing free parties going off all the time. The record shops were buzzing and the scene was exciting definitely. I was just a touch too young to be a part of it really early on but I soaked it all up through my brother I think. I miss those days!
At what point did you make the move to Edinburgh and why?
I was actually in Edinburgh first from, I think, ‘94 to ‘96… I burnt myself out going out every week and had to go back to Bristol to recover. I think I must have missed the place though as I returned in 2001 or 2002 and I’ve been there ever since.
Firecracker is a label which has gone on to inspire many and helped shape the current sound of house music, how did you come to meet Lindsay Todd?
Linds is a true mate and knew my brother before me actually. He worked at Underground Solution (Edinburgh record shop) in the ‘90s and I guess we were liking the same records at the time and got chatting about tunes etc. A room came up in the flat he was staying at and I had nowhere to put my studio so eventually I took it and put all my gear in his room as it was bigger. That was where the first Firecracker record was made and we’ve remained best mates since.
Did you have any idea it would end up gaining near-cult status?
I don’t know, I’ve never really thought about that. Nothing about the label was planned. We just went release by release. It’s nice to think someone sees it like that though!
And how did your relationships with Shevchenko and Prime Numbers come about?
Well I’m no longer with Prime Numbers but Shevchenko is actually a sister label of Firecracker which started off releasing a lot of Vakula’s material and then I guess it was just natural that Linds would ask for some tracks. There are plans for another Linkwood 12” on Shevchenko after my album drops as I’ve only released one so far which was number 4, I think. I was proud of that EP as I think it got closer to what I’m about. The latest Shevchenko which came out last week is from fellow Edinburgh artist and friend, Lord Of The Isles and is a killer 12”. I recommend you check it out!
You also work as an engineer; do you engineer your own tracks and how do you find the process different when working on someone else’s music?
Hah! That’s a good question actually because although I’m a mix engineer mixing other folks music I rarely get to mix my own tracks. Almost all of my output has just been from live jams I’ve done on the desk. I like working like that but sometimes I regret not tracking things off properly and mixing them as I would a clients tune. There is a flavour when you capture the moment but I still think I make other people’s tunes sound way better than mine! My new album is a mixture of both ways, I guess.
You’re still only had a relatively small number of releases and spend a lot of the time travelling the world DJing – would you consider yourself a DJ or producer?
Definitely both. I was a DJ long before I could afford any gear to make music, but I see them as the same thing to be honest. One helps the other. I definitely mix in a similar style to how I make tunes and I get inspired by playing gigs. I know there are a lot of producers that would rather not have to gig but I’m not like that. I really appreciate the chance to travel and play and I’m at my happiest playing out for sure.
Can you tell us one highlight and one low point from your past few years of DJing?
No low points really just a load of great gigs. My last four hour set at Panorama Bar sticks in my mind. I don’t know, it just all clicked and I loved every minute of it. Getting to come and tour Australia is amazing for me as well. I love the place and had great gigs last time I came. I’m really looking forward to playing Sydney again, so big thanks in advance!
Touring means you’ve had the chance to see a lot of DJs and producers from around the world, is there anyone we probably haven’t heard about that you think we should know about?
My brother (aka Discreet Unit). His lack of releases obviously affects gigs but he is one of the best DJs I know full stop and I’m not being biased! House of Traps as well (aka Lindsay Todd, owner of Firecracker). He is happy focusing on the artwork and label etc but is one of the best selectors out there and his record collection makes me cry… definitely one of the best DJs you’ve never heard. There is new Discreet Unit material coming soon so hopefully this will change!
What’s coming up in the future as far as releases, remixes or collaborations?
I have a new album on the way for Firecracker which I’m pretty chuffed about as I wasn’t happy with my last album at all. Hopefully this new one is everything the last one wasn’t. I learnt a lot making System, mainly that it didn’t sound like me and that pissed me off.
I’ve just done a remix for Inkswel from Melbourne and I’m really happy with it… It took me a while as I had a few major life issues in 2012 but I put the love into it and I’m looking forward to having it on vinyl. It features vocals from Merwyn Sanders of Virgo Four.
I did a remix also for Chico Mann on Soundway Records which comes out this month. I wish I could go and redo it actually but hey… Its done!
Here’s a few of his tunes….
And here’s a recent mix…