Darkhouse Fam – ‘In & Out’ EP (Earnest Endeavours)

The Lighthouse Family have alot to answer for. But if their poor musical sensibilities inspired Welsh duo Darkhouse Fam to adopt their name and chop out the loose electronic jam resplendent on the ‘In & Out EP’, then perhaps they deserve some props for the first time.

Che Ahmed (Metabeats) and Aly Jamal (Don Leisure) are the two controllers sitting at the head of the Darkhouse Fam’s table and blowing smoke rings through hip hop-indebted corners of squelch-filled robo-funk and eighties sass. Both men have got previous when it comes to dilly dallying with dance – albeit in very different guises.

Metabeats was a big cheese in Cardiff’s garage scene and enjoyed many a stolen moment playing records alongside the Dream Team as a teenage badman. His wingman went in at the harder end – hanging with Valve cohorts Lemon D and Dillinja. Despite starting from such seemingly disparate ends of the electronic spectrum the pair manage to meet in the middle, albeit one where toking hard and red eyes are de rigueur.

‘In & Out’ may only be their second release, but their earlier experiences have obviously stood them in good stead. This is a classy outing for a pair of supposed newcomers. Starting with a hiss of vinyl, EP opener ‘Take On The World’, (featuring the syrupy vocal skill of Sa-Ra Creative Partners man Om’Mas Keith) has a timeless off-kilter lurch reminiscent of the bump and colour of Funkadelic. ‘Red Leather’ and ‘Tartan Paint’ add more lashings of night to the ramshackle electro-funk they peddle – with the latter loping like a robot going up and down a flight of worn out stairs – it shakes and rattles in all the wrong places

‘Snaggletooth’ wriggles around a pulse and guitar noodle while an icy drum beat does it’s best to keep the whole shebang moving in a straight line. ‘Like No Other’, which is injected with the synthesised vocal chords of label mate B.Bravo, is pure 80s boogie – and suggests that the fam are fighting over the same teat of inspiration sucked on by Krystal Klear and HudMo when he’s feeling at his most saucy. While they may be circling the same spheres, the Fam are definitely doing the shuffle for themselves. Pass the dutch and get inside…

Jim Ottewill

The ‘In & Out’ will be released via Earnest Endeavours on February 27.

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