Label: First Word Records
Next up on First Word Records, we welcome the return of Don Leisure, with an EP of beats that see his two alter-egos go head-to-head, ‘Shaboo vs Halal Cool J’.
Probably best known as 50% of Darkhouse Family, along with Melange label boss Earl Jeffers, they released their acclaimed debut album ‘The Offering’ in 2017 and subsequent remix project last year, featuring DJ Spinna, Kaidi Tatham and more. The duo are coolly establishing themselves as Cardiff’s very own Mizell Brothers, recently producing Kamaal William’s latest work, featuring on Kutmah’s recent Izwid compilation, and collaborating on the Chicago x London project ‘Where We Come From’, featuring Makaya McCraven, Joe Armon-Jones, Nubiya Garcia, Theon Cross and First Word label-mate Quiet Dawn, amongst others.
‘Halal Cool J’ appeared originally in early 2017 with ‘An Ottoman Excursion’ on our sister-label, Excursions. A series of edits born out of a decade-long love of Turkish music, and some record-digging expeditions in Istanbul, something Don Leisure did the very day after ‘The Offering’ release party, prompting another series of beats. Ahead of an all-new full-length Halal Cool J album, here we have two tracks to give you a taste, ‘Kazakh Honey’ and ‘Kaymak’.
‘Shaboo Strikes Back’ on the flip-side, with a track of the same name, and ‘Mango Season’. ‘Shaboo’ was the name of a beat album that came out on First Word in 2017, inspired largely by Don’s Bollywood actor Uncle, Nasser ‘Shaboo’ Bharwani, and by memories of journey’s with headphones hurling out Hip Hop, fused with the sonics of his Mum’s interruptions, and her favourite Asian radio station. ‘Shaboo’ featured in several end-of-year album lists, with Piccadilly Records calling it “the best album of it’s kind since Dilla’s ‘Donuts’. Unmissable.”
Both prior projects got love from DJs and selectors far & wide, including Tom Ravenscroft, Lefto, Huey Morgan, Rob Da Bank, Om Unit, Simbad & Mr Thing. A truly global affair, the beat battle of ‘Shaboo vs Halal Cool J’ takes us on several short, sweet hikes across a variety of Eastern climes.