MENU Interview with Darkhouse Family

Interview with Darkhouse Family

May 16, 2011

Bordered by England to its East and the Atlantic Ocean to its West sits Wales, home to a new generation of beat makers, spearheading the lot are Darkhouse Family and they know a thing or two about making head jittering music.

Aside from getting props from Mary Anne Hobbs, Kode9 and Jen Long alike, Red Leather was previously featured on Gilles’s Now That’s What I Call Bumps series, a snippet of his BBC1 show dedicated to the mutating genre of experimental beat making.

These guys make tracks blessed with eerie samples, big beat half claps, strung together by a chaos of hi hats and vintage bleeps that seem to work harmoniously well together like a pair of reunited bastard twins. The Cardiff based duo has released via Fat City Recordings where highly anticipated EP Family Trees was well received by the masses. The EP sees a mix of 80’s boogie synth tangled with heavy bumping boom bap kicks and snares, while their taste for 808s and swollen bass are nonetheless prevalent throughout.

The boys recently released a split 12’ with friends and colleagues CRST on Catapult Records. The double A side sees CRST go hard with their signature bass bubbling 2 step shuffle, while Darkhouse Fam tastefully deliver some deeper slo-mo garage with a tint of old school euphoria. This captivating piece was released on Record Store Day, give it a quick stream bellow and cop the 12” on wax here.

Stab Wound- Darkhouse Family by Catapult Records

CRST Redeye by Catapult Records

We caught up with the two and had a chinwag about the Cardiff beats scene, upcoming projects and the ideal Sunday afternoon…

Who’s in Darkhouse Family and how did you guys come about?

Darkhouse Family consists of Metabeats and Don Leisure. We both have backgrounds in Hip Hop and share a similar taste of music outside of that spectrum as well. In early 2008 DL had moved back to Wales after a stint in London and Africa. After meeting up with Monky and Ruffstlyz he was shown some of my music by them and was feeling it. At that time I was still selling trainers, and had just dropped the Metaphysical album, DL came in to the shop and started playing me beats from his laptop. Just a few days later we were making beats in the studio together.

How would you describe your music for those who haven’t heard it?

Dr Robotnik theme music.

Where does your music draw influences from?

M: That would be a pretty long answer but in a condensed list it would be..Weather Report,  J-Dilla, Quincy Jones, Jeremy Sylvester, 90’s House & Garage, the list goes on..

DL: Mizell bros, Madlib, Mulatu, Mos Def, MF Doom, Mix Master Mike, Midnight Star, Margie Joseph, Masta Killa, Martin Hannet.

What’s the music scene looking like in Cardiff at the moment? Any talent we should look out for?

Yeah, there are a few heads out here making some dope stuff at the moment. We can vouch for the music of CRST, Monky, Stagga, Mr Healan & Hekla Kosh.

Recently Cardiff’s local record store Catapult records made their first in-house release, the double A-side featured you guys and CRST, can you tell us more about this?

Both of us and Tony & St. Rowdy from CRST have been going into Catapult for years to buy tunes or just to shoot the shit with Simon who runs the place. He’d been talking about doing a 12” to showcase local talent for a while and it eventually manifested itself in this 12”. Anyone visiting Cardiff should go into the shop and pester Simon about tunes. The more you bug him the more discounts you get!

We’ll be sure to drop by. Prior to your release on Catapult records, you lot released ‘Family Trees’.  How did the EP find a home at Fat City Records?

DL: I had a link with Martyn from back when we both made drum and bass tunes. He was feeling a lot of the hip-hop stuff I was sending him and sent the track ‘Stay Blazed’ to the label on our behalf.

M:  ‘Stay Blazed’ got featured on the Producer 2 compilation, it was well received and Fat City started asking for more stuff hence a full debut EP ‘Family Trees’.

Your production has dabbled with 808 bumps seen in ‘Number 43’, edgy yet emotive hip-hop witnessed in ‘Stay Blazed’ and some deeper 2 step on ‘Stab Wound’. Is there a particular sound you might stick to or could we expect a variety of sounds in future releases?

Variety is the spice of life.

Any upcoming projects/collaborations we keep an eye out for?

Yeah, expect forthcoming remix and collaborations with California producers B Bravo, EPROM, Dibia$e and the infamous Prince & Herbie Hancock.

If you were stuck in an elevator with 1 album on repeat, what would it be?

M : Master P – I’m Bout It

DL : Silk Tha Shocker – Charge it 2 Da Game

In your opinion, a perfect Sunday afternoon?

DL : BBQ, studio, bed.

M: Watching the Pine Barrens episode of Sopranos with a canoli.

With summer around the corner, the lads are already booked in for Glastonbury and will be sure to blast their works up and down the country so keep your eyes peeled for dates and bookings. For more sonic madness, head over to their soundcloud, but hold tight as you might find yourself uncontrollably twitching your upper lip, while beating your keyboard like an MPC.