DJ Food - The Search Engine

A tired, conservative and weirdly insular album
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The first DJ Food album in eleven years (actually a compilation of EP tracks from a few years back) is a baffling thing. Guest-heavy, sci-fi tinged and crammed with endless movie voice-over samples, it feels like nothing less than a remake of UNKLE’s ‘Psyence Fiction’.

The title feels appropriate. The cut ‘n’ paste albums of the Nineties were made before the Internet had achieved omniscience. Their loops, samples and library cues felt fresh and mysterious. In 2012, everyone reading this can access any record in any genre at any time. You’d imagine that this would be encouragement to make an album as wild and adventurous as 2000’s ‘Kaleidoscope’. But aside from JG Thirwell sounding briefly like a Dalek, it’s all a bit drab and unmemorable. It’s not quite as po-faced as UNKLE’s efforts, but for what is (nominally) a hip-hop album, it’s curiously lacking in groove and sex - a situation not helped by the guest vocalists all being dudes (Exterminator Thirwell, but also Matt Johnson of The The, Natural Self and 2econd Class Citizen).

That’s not to say that it’s without merit. When Strictly Kev cuts loose and lets his samples do the talking, it’s fun. ‘Giant’ ends with an extended tribal jam that’s hypnotic and head-noddy. The longest track, ‘Magpie Music’, is also the best, dancing through genres playfully. But the over-riding impression is that this is a tired, conservative and weirdly insular album.

5/10

Words by WILL SALMON

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