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North / South / East / West

The best beatmakers from the UK and US convene for Bleep’s new art project

Warp Records affiliated have delivered a slamming new project incorporating the epically haunting photography of Shaun Bloodworth, art direction from Give Up Art’s Stuart Hammersley and music from the UK and US’s baddest beatmakers. A collective of artists from the north and south of the UK (including Skream, Hudson Mohawke, Rustie) and the east and west coasts of the US (roll call includes Fly Lo, Mike Slott and Falty DL) putting down a ton of unreleased exclusives with a deluxe package of prints. Bloodworth and Hammersley started working together with Tempa/FWD>>/Rinse and jumped the pond to Low End Theory and Brainfeeder. Together this is a showcase of some of the most heavyweight young producer talent in the world.

Dazed Digital: What is the working relationship with Give Up Art?
Shaun Bloodworth: The thought process behind pictures looks at mood rather than ideas for us. I've described it before as like one painting with a broad brush and the other filling in the detail.
Stuart Hammersley: I get the best of his ability as a photographer, and then with me I can keep in mind what we’ll need for the final artwork. Or in some cases my ideas about the design of a job can change whilst we’re in the middle of a shoot. And that kind of freedom and having a laugh in our jobs together is what keeps things exciting.

DD: What was the first photo you took?
Shaun Bloodworth: Ever? Ha! It’s that long ago I can't remember, but like most people who are self taught it would be something with a cokin filter or a flower with raindrops. In music? Well that would be a trip to Transition Studios to photograph their DubPlate lathe, for one of Tempa’s early Dubstep Allstar mixes. Stu dragged me along, that would be around 2005?
Stuart Hammersley: Our first actual music-related portrait though was the cover shoot for Skream’s first album. In the middle of a pitch black, busy, totally noisy rave at the West Indian Centre in Leeds. With us shooting in the middle of all of this with just a ring-flash.

DD: What did you think about the optimistic LA attitude and way of life?
SB: I do like that optimistic attitude LA-liens have as it fits with my own way of thinking. What interests me most about the LA beatmakers is that they are not afraid of competition and are happy to collaborate. For a nation that has very forward approach they are extremely modest individuals, and I like that very much.

DD: What do you feel it is the common thread that links all of the UK artists... from north and the south?
SB: There’s a definite pride in being part of a community of music makers, that isn't worried about, or dictated to by the mainstream music industry.

DD: What’s your most commonly used set up?
SB: Its the same set up really across the board. I like to be able to move and be ready quickly, so I keep it very simple. It’s not that I have preconceived ideas but I do go into a shoot in a particular frame of mind or mood in my head. My kit set up is a Canon 5dmk2, radio slaves, a single Elinchrom battery powered flash and a big softbox. If i can't carry it in a backpack (albeit heavy) then it doesn't come with me.
SH: When I work with Shaun we both tend to enjoy not knowing what’s around till we get there, and thinking on our feet. Plus the fact that he’s so good at working quickly means we can dump an idea once we see it won’t work and move on somewhere else.

N/S/E/W is available at check the music here.