First Word are proud to introduce the new EP from our latest signings Darkhouse Family. The production duo consisting of Don Leisure and Metabeats have previously released music through Fat City and Earnest Endeavours, building up a dedicated fanbase that includes Gilles Peterson, Gaslamp Killer and Lefto. The Solid Gold EP is the start of a new chapter for the pair, exploring fresh textures and BPMs within the beats scene.
Metabeats and Don Leisure originally met back in 2008 - DL had produced DnB records under the ‘Jamal’ moniker (releasing with TOV / Metalheadz and more) and on returning to Cardiff from a spell in London was naturally drawn to ‘this Metabeats guy that I kept hearing about’. The Darkhouse Family sound developed over the next few years, merging the territories between hip hop, jungle and DnB, with 2014’s Brockwild EP representing the pinnacle of that era. The last few years have seen Metabeats release several acclaimed EPs through Associated Minds (including 2013’s ‘Caviar Crackle’ featuring Action Bronson) as well as building a growing reputation for his house output under the ‘Earl Jeffers’ name. The duo have also toured the world as DJs, as well as providing sets / mixes for Boiler Room, Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide, Solid Steel, Fabric, NTS and Rinse FM.
The Solid Gold EP has seen them add to their musical palate allowing them to draw on influences including Alice Coltrane, Tangerine Dream and Sun-Ra. As Don Leisure explains: ‘After the last EP we felt like we needed to change our style to reflect what we were listening to more honestly. We still love Brockwild and those tunes but wanted to do more jazz influenced stuff as that was what were looking for in the record crates and what we were bumping in the studio.’ Access to a larger recording space allowed the duo to expand their capabilities, collaborating with other musicians, adding Fender Rhodes, percussion and even harp into the mix. The resulting EP shows a maturity and depth that can only come with time. The late night groove of ‘Disco Duck’ serves as a perfect example of where they’re at musically: smooth keys counterpointed by angular synths and underpinned by some seriously tough Darkhouse Family drums. On ‘Thai Fly’ they fuse together the brighter sounds of Asia with the icy depths of UK bass, whilst ‘Moda’ blends an addictive piano riff with synth bass and understated drums.