Q&A: Linear

With a new EP dropping for Detached Audio after a string of top releases across the likes of Skankandbass, Differential and Nu Venture, we thought it was high time we caught up with Linear (known to his mum as Charles Hague) for a quick chat. Read on for the lowdown on his musical background, lockdown compositions and all things Linear…

DNB Dojo: Hi Charles, thanks for chatting. How are you today? I hope you’ve been surviving these unduly interesting times OK?

Linear: Thanks for having me, it’s great to catch up! I’m good thank you. You know what, lockdown has actually been pretty good to me in terms of music. I took a bit of a break at the back end of last year as life all just got a bit too hectic, but being stuck in the flat 24/7 gave me plenty of time to get back to it. I’ve heard some people say it’s made them struggle with inspiration, which I totally get, but luckily for me it’s been the opposite.

DD: Let’s look back to the start of your musical journey. What is your musical background? And how did you get into producing Drum & Bass?

L: I’ve always made music in one form or another. I wrote songs with friends and played in bands with as a kid. I’ve played guitar since I was seven, although I’m nowhere near as good as I should be given how long I’ve played!

Like pretty much everyone my age the first Drum & Bass I heard was Pendulum. Back then I didn’t even know it was Drum & Bass, I just thought it was unlike anything I’d heard before and instantly fell in love. It wasn’t really until I started going to festivals and raves that I realised how great the genre is, how much diversity and creativity there is.

As I’d always loved making music I guess it was only natural for me to start experimenting with Drum & Bass. My friend Sam who ran Fragmented Recordings was a big help at the start. I learnt a lot from him in terms of production, and seeing him and a few others putting out really sick music was definitely a big inspiration to start myself.

DD: Winding forward to the new EP, can you tell us a bit more about the inspiration for Lost In Sight? What does the title refer to?

L: Quite a few of the ideas for the tracks on Lost In Sight were started before lockdown, but it all came together in the first few weeks of being shut inside. I think the fact that I had more time to focus on it shows; for me it’s the most cohesive piece of work I’ve put out so far.

It was an odd time, the world felt very scary and life had shrunk to a fraction of what it had been before, but at the same time we had all this great weather and I’d look out the window and it didn’t really seem like anything had changed, you just couldn’t go out anymore. For me the tracks have a kind of melancholic summery vibe to them, like they’re yearning for something. That’s where the title comes from, the idea that we’d lost so much, but it was still right there on the other side of the glass, still in sight.

That more or less makes sense in my head at least!

DD: You’ve spent the last couple of years racking up an impressive set of releases with EPs for Detached, Differential and Nu Venture among others. What’s next for Linear? Any big plans for 2020, or beyond?

L: Well this certainly isn’t the last time you’ll see me on Detached Audio! I’m currently working on my third EP for them so keep your eyes open for that. I’m feeling quite experimental with my production at the moment so we’ll have to see how the final tracks turn out.

Other than that, I have a few other projects going on but I can’t say too much just yet. I’ll be continuing to curate and support music that I love through my SoulFunk mix series and Spotify Playlist and I’m thinking about doing a few live streams too.

I’m also nearing 2000 followers over on my SoundCloud so I’ll need to celebrate that. I have some bootlegs and other bits that have never seen the light of day, could be time for them to come out…

DD: Last up, give us your top three lockdown anthems – what tunes have you been rinsing out after the last few months?

L: Oh good question. There’s been a lot! I’ll go for tracks I’ve discovered during Lockdown.

Firstly Brainwork’s bootleg of What You Need by The Weekend. I love all of his stuff but for me this one really stands out, such a good use of the original and production value is on point.

Satl’s new track So Much Better has really blown me away, possibly the smoothest track I’ve ever heard, an absolute joy to listen to.

And finally I’m going to have to go with SoulStructure’s remix of my track See You. It’s only just been released but I’ve had it on repeat ever since the guys at Differential sent the master through. They absolutely smashed it, such a great twist on the original and an honour for artists of that calibre to remix my track.

Thanks for having me!

Linear’s Lost In Sight EP is out now on Detached Audio! Hit up all the usual digital outlets to buy or stream.

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