I’m an idiot. You know when there is a glaringly obvious pun in front of your eyes and you never notice it, even though you yourself have been saying it for months? Yeah, that.
Darkhouse Fam (geddit?) are a duo of producers we’ve featured in other carnations here before (#60) that make exceptionally well slanted instrumental hip hop. Hailing from Wales it’d be fair to say they’ve incubated their talents for a while now, working closely with each other through friendship as well as local geography and now, Don Leisure and Metabeats, as they’re individually known, have bit of a heritage. After various solo projects and group dalliances they made their conjoined debut with the Family Trees 12” on the esteemed Producer series through Fat City last year. They’ve been working closely on a debut EP for the London based Earnest Endeavours conglomerate for a little white now, something we’ve been privy to and excited by for an extended period now.
What the two producers do so beautifully is make beats with swagger and poise that retain a real and easy feeling of antiquity, like they’ve collectively listened to and ingested a whole lifetime of jazz, soul, boogie and beyond and then channeled little parts of that knowledge into their fundamentally modernist beat driven hitters. Tracks like ‘Sticky Trees’ and ‘Like No Other’ or a jam like ‘Take On The World’, which features vocals from Om’Mas Keith of Sa-Ra, all have a unqiue melodic sensibility, with the backdrop just swimming through the reverb behind that thick pounding drum beat on ‘Take On…’.
To say that with the In & Out EP they’ve created a work that moves and judders like a Madlib record isn’t a cloaked insult for these dudes; you get the sense that over the years they’ve conditioned their brains to flip from idea to idea quickly and without over thinking. Case in point: ‘Snaggletooth’. It’s one of the EP’s standouts and it feels like it was assembled quickly and with great enthusiasm. The synth stabs and their key changes are brutally simple but they’re powerful and the impact that the bubble hi hat has on the whole beat is astonishingly pertinent.
Thankfully Darkhouse Fam aren’t trying to be too clever for their own good; they’re making music that’s purely for listening, dancing and enjoyment purposes. Beats like ‘Tartan Paint’ just roll off the proverbial tongue with ease and all across the In & Out EP there are moments that either make you swoon into your own head or snap you back out of the haze with a firm fisted snare drum and there’s definitely a majesty in the way they jump from one to the other. What with it being the week of the record’s release we thought it’d be a timely thing for them to drop a mixtape for us and what you get from SR Mix #122, more than anything, is a open look into their outlook…
01 – Chanan Hanspal – Field Of Fire (Darkhouse Fam Remix)
02 – Darkhouse Fam feat. Om’Mas Keith – Take on the World
03 – Kenlo – ???
04 – MED – Flying High (prod. Madlib)
05 – Metabeats – Battery Funk
06 – Metabeats – Wireless
07 – Stagga – Billy Tell Remix
08 – Darkhouse Fam – Tartan Paint
09 – Sa-Ra Creative Partners – God Made Dirt
10 – Darkhouse Fam – Red Leather
11 – Hudson Mohawke x Dam Funk – Tell Me What You Want From Me
12 – Aaliyah – Rock The Boat (Vula Remix)
13 – Opolopo – Step Into The Light
14 – Madlib – Do You Know? (transition)
15 – Darkhouse Fam – Where is Everyone?
16 – Metabeats – Bootney Fawnsworth