First Word Records is very proud to present you with ‘The Offering’ — the debut album by Darkhouse Family, a Cardiff-based duo consisting of Earl Jeffers & Don Leisure.
Previously releasing music under their respective monikers, Metabeats and Jamal, they’ve produced an assortment of sounds over the years, from Hip Hop to House to D’n’B. Connecting as a duo almost a decade ago, this merger logically saw the birth of their own unique style, comprised of a bonafide fusion of genres.
Darkhouse Family entered into the public domain via labels Fat City and Earnest Endeavours, before joining the First Word family in Summer 2016, with the ‘Solid Gold’ EP. This was their first release to incorporate live instruments into their signature hybrid of sampled beat-chops and electronic sonics. ‘The Offering’ serves up further evolution in the Darkhouse Family’s sound — a progression that also embraces Jazz and Soul.
Following the success of ‘Solid Gold’, the duo embraced a more collaborative approach, embarking on a series of sessions between Oct 2016 and May 2017, building a bonafide family of musicians and vocalists. This notably included Kamaal Williams (aka Henry Wu, formerly of Yussef Kamaal), up-and-coming drummer Daf Davies (who was a key inspiration in the sound and vibe of the record) and strings arranger / player Jonathan Powell. Vocal performances include regular DHF collaborator, Vanity Jay, a masterful talent, Jessy Allen, and an amazing newcomer, Esther, amongst a veritable assortment of sublime Welsh talent…
The breadth of tools used on this recording very much ranged from the old to the new, from 19th Century violas, to Fender Rhodes, to Juno synthesisers. Despite the wealth of live instrumentation brought on board for the project, there was always a crate of vinyl nearby, to provide dusty-fingered inspiration whenever required. The whole mood of ‘The Offering’ radiates with a sense of organic fusion — retro analogue sensibilities blended with future vibrations. This conglomeration of eras, sounds and skills summarises the ethos of the project, as mentioned most poignantly in the title track, «unity is the beginning»…
Their amalgamation of styles on Darkhouse Family’s previous catalogue has in turn had support from a wide-range of selectors and tastemakers, such as Tom Ravenscroft, Mr Thing, Kutmah, Rob Da Bank, Lefto, Om Unit, Huey Morgan, ThrisTian, Jon1st and Gilles Peterson, and their own turntable formidability has seen them grace the decks at Boiler Room, Fabric, Worldwide FM, Solid Steel, Glastonbury Festival and much more. This is only the beginning though.
This album is a true testament to Darkhouse Family’s undiluted love of music across a vast spectrum. The end-result is quite simply a gift to the masses.
This is ‘The Offering’.