Ever a firm favourite of ours, Darkhouse Fam’s new release has been receiving limitless rotations in the office, we thought we’d catch up with these distinguished Welshmen for an insider’s guide to their stomping ground; the arcadian city of Cardiff.
The Offering is their first full length to incorporate live instrumentation into their signature hybrid of sampled beat-chops and electronic sonics. The whole thing plays like an exclamation mark on Valium; a chilled reverie. This next stage of evolution for Darkhouse is one that sees them embrace the extended family, focusing on unity with a host of local collaborators. The cream of Welsh talent that appears on The Offering is impressive. Drummer Daf Davies sets much of the sentiment on the record, while the beacon of loveliness that is Charlotte Church rolled through for a feature. London is represented too, in the form of Kamaal Williams (Henry Wu); Peckham to Cymru.
“We wanted to create something that celebrated peace, collaboration with musicians from different backgrounds and disciplines…and also something that would make your neck snap!”
Ignore TimeOut, cop The Offering and tune into Darkhouse Family’s personal guided tour of the streets that carry them.
Pim’s on Crwys Road is a hidden gem. The place is the size of someone’s front room and one guy handles all the cooking. It is never the same any time we go and it’s a good move not to order from the menu and just let the former herbal monk from Thailand decide what he wants to cook for you. As well as one of the best Thai cooks around Pimm is also a music lover often playing piano and guitar while you eat. Kamaal Williams once blessed the keys here fuelled by venison massaman curry.
Blue Honey Night Cafe is a good look for cocktails. A greasy spoon by day and a cracking bar by night with a forward thinking music policy. Don Leisure DJs there regularly and so does DHF collaborator Esther. Always a great crowd. Korean fried chicken and other delights are available all night too and ask Scott to make the cocktails!
The Carpet Club is the new spot. Located in a former casino/amusement arcade it is a much needed space for the city. The venue recently kicked off with Omar S doing a 5 hour set in the former cash pit. You’ll be able to catch us playing there soon for sure! Keep those peepers peeled.
Cardiff has a good scene for parties and the best thing about it is that a lot of promoters get along and will often collaborate together to pool resources and make bigger and better parties. Blue Honey mentioned above also promote great parties bringing people like Omar S, Romare, KON, Hunnee, Kai Alce, Yussef Kamaal and Harvey Sutherland to town. A great bunch of lads in charge of it and the genuine enthusiasm, optimism and passion they put into the events is infectious.
Groove Theory is also worth mentioning as they work with Blue Honey from time to time and have brought heavy weights like Byron the Aquarius, Dego, Rahaan, Sadar Bahaar, Al Dobson Jnr & K15 to town too.
Crates to Dig
Classified Information. Seek and you shall find!
Obviously the studio is our sanctuary, it’s the place to zone out from everything else and hone in on creativity and creating, but as that isn’t open to any Tom, Dick and Harry. We would say Bute Park located within the Castle grounds is a great spot to clear your head. 130 acres of lush park lands and rivers deceptively located in the City Centre.
A couple must do’s if you are in town: one is to check out the indoor market located on St Mary Street. This place is a look back into old school Cardiff and has a real sense of local community present. As well as many local, colourful characters, you may even bump into Gruff Rhys running errands. The Pad Thai from the Thai spot in there is recommended too!
The other must do is to speak to people. Cardiff isn’t a big city like London, Moscow or Paris that can sometimes have reputations for being a bit stand offish or aloof at times. One of the best things about Wales and the thing we miss most when we are away is the Welsh sense of humour and the best way to experience it is to chat to people! I’m sure it will work out fine, maybe, probably… Should do… Peace!