Apparently comprising recordings from 1996 right up to the year of its release, Kaleidoscope
continues on from the proper DJ Food
debut A Recipe for Disaster
with a collection of beat-heavy turntablist productions that often hit the high peaks of their close friends Coldcut
. Since P.C.
and Strictly Kev are
DJs first and foremost, Kaleidoscope
has an atmosphere of cut'n'paste schizophrenia, experimental risk-taking, and rampant comedy reminiscent of their previous mix-album assignments (the Warp compilation Blech
's Journeys by DJ
As on A Recipe for Disaster
however, the production is much
better than listeners should expect from a pair of turntable-twisters. Jazz is undeniably the backbone of this album, straight from the opener "Full Bleed" where a raw drumkit pounds out stuttered breakbeats with plenty of high-maintenance cymbal work. There are references to all sorts of jazzcats from the cool era, including the fiery Quincy Jones
sample that drives "The Riff" and the collaboration with jazz poet Ken Nordine
on "The Ageing Young Rebel." The most inventive track is undoubtedly "Break," which turns a spoken-word piece by Lightnin' Rod
dealing with billiards (pun definitely intended) into a turntablist high-wire act by repeatedly cutting off the audio between syllables. Even when you've put aside the high-profile musical references and silly sense of humor, though, Kaleidoscope
remains a great album. Even "Nocturne" and "The Crow," a pair of downtempo tracks with little (on the surface) to recommend them, are still very compelling. With productions these strong, perhaps it's time for P.C.
and Strictly Kev
to strip the DJ from their albums just to make sure no one confuses them with part-time producers.