Hugh Hardie impressed us with the addictive funk and soul vibes which he brought to his City Soul EP last year. Carefully balanced and incredibly evocative, Hardie showed a side to his artistic ability we hadn’t previously seen. Or at least not seen at the level accomplished. Fast forward to the here and now and the young producer has, at last, delivered his debut LP. Colourspace builds on his past material and his development as an artist is plain to hear.
‘Love Troubles’ and ‘Dusty Keys’ offered a natural progression from City Soul. The latter interestingly employs dark and eerie atmospherics similar to the vibe of Hospital contemporary S.P.Y. In doing so, he sparked our curiosity as to the overall direction his debut album might take.
Hugh Hardie is the perfect introduction to where the label has been, where it is currently and where it’s heading.
From the first notes of ‘Love Troubles’ the album kicks off in typical “Hardie style” – a smooth bass line which blooms into a carefully balanced composition of keys, synths and guitar. But Colourspace offers a well-stocked artillery of diverse electronic cuts. Momentarily experimenting with his passion for percussion on ‘Camera Obscura’ ft. Maverick, he soon seeks calmer waters on the ethereal ‘Distance’. This may well be my favourite track on the record.
His collaborations add to the multiplicity of styles. It’s nice to see him working with Zoë Phillips alongside up-and-comers GLXY on ‘She Moves’. Fans of Hugh Hardie may remember his remix Phillips’ original ‘Road Signs’. Shogun Audio’s Pola & Bryson also make a cameo on ‘Emerald City’ adding their own musical and atmospheric nuances. Meanwhile, ‘Shades of Blue’ ft. Kimani slows the pace but remains focused on precision and execution.
There’s so much drum ‘n’ bass out there; even the Hospital roster has reached the point where you’re not quite sure where to start. Hugh Hardie is the perfect introduction to where the label has been, where it is currently and where it’s heading.
By Will Hunt
A stunning debut album
No filler to speak of
Collaborations work well
|1. Love Troubles|
|2. She Moves (feat. GLXY, 3-Card, Zoë Phillips)|
|3. Dusty Keys|
|4. Emerald City (feat. Pola & Bryson)|
|5. Talk The Talk (feat. Dan Stezo)|
|6. Shades Of Blue (feat. Kimani)|
|7. Camera Obscura (feat. Maverick Soul)|
|12. Sound System Dub|