From Sheffield to Bangor in Northern Ireland, UK producer HART is blending dusty boom-bap and sweaty-basement garage to enthralling effect. The artist’s debut LP, Moon Jazz, focused on the romance between jazz and hip-hop, lending influence from the trip-hop sounds of Bonobo and Massive Attack. But as the seasons change and winter lets go of its cold embrace she finds herself meandering towards the memories and influence from the underground parties of the Steel City.
“I started producing when I was in Australia,” she says, “but I’ve been really into music since I moved to Sheffield. It’s got a big garage, drum & bass and bassline scene. The city has a good reputation for repurposing the old warehouses for music events that were used during its industrial heyday.”
With support from Help Musicians NI, HART is preparing the launch of a new garage-focused moniker. Nyphaea will sound more like Flava D and MJ Cole than J Dilla and Pete Rock; a blend of both sunny and rainy day 2-step designed to make you feel and move. A six-track EP – BAKU – is to be released in December, inspired by Japanese folklore where the Baku is portrayed as a mythical beast who devours nightmares. As the artist walks the sonic, dualistic tightrope of euphoric and dark, as does the Baku; if left hungry after the nightmares, it will go on to devour the hopes and dreams of the person who summoned it.
This isn’t the end of HART, though. It’s very much a seasonal thing, as the artist explains, “during Summer I’m definitely in more of a dance space. During the hibernation of autumn and winter I go back to the comforting experience of hip-hop, which I will always find comforting as it’s the first music I learned to produce.” Andrew Moore
Stream BAKU’s lead single ‘WHY’ below
Photo by Aislinn McGinn