This will be an occasional series, with the idea being to give the shout-out to the blogger who brought something to my attention or provided the inspiration.

Step forward Khayem of Dubhead fame.

It was back on 7 January in this posting that I first learned that one of my favourite songs by The The had been given the cover treatment back in 2012.

I’d never previously heard of DJ Food.  Here’s last fm:-

DJ Food is a collaborative project between Coldcut/Ninja Tune duo Matt Black and Jonathan More, and second-half PC (born Patrick Carpenter) and Strictly Kev (Kevin Foakes). Although the moniker originally referred only to Black and More’s several-volumed series of stripped-down breaks records designed for deck use (i.e., “food” for DJs), club booking demands for the assumedly proper-named DJ Food dictated the pair make an ongoing project of it. Adding PC and Strictly to spice things up (and differentiate DJ Food from Coldcut when they played the same bill), the quartet released a series of 12″ singles in various combinations starting in 1994 (including “Freedom”/”Consciousness”), with their proper debut full-length, A Recipe for Disaster, appearing the following year.

The quartet also toured Europe, Canada, and America as DJ Food (mainly DJing) and regularly mashed it up side by side on Coldcut’s weekly KISS FM show Solid Steel. PC and Strictly were also hired by Warp Records to compile and mix a series of releases entitled Blech, drawing from the influential experimental techno label’s back catalog. More and Black continued to split their time between DJ Food and Coldcut, as well as the day-to-day operation of their immensely popular Ninja Tune and Ntone labels. DJ Food’s second production album, Kaleidoscope, appeared in April of 2000 to warm reviews.

A year later, the pair inaugurated a Solid Steel CD series with the mix album Now, Listen! The years that followed found More and Black contributing less thanks to their Coldcut obligations, while PC would find success with his Cinematic Orchestra project, so much so that he resigned as a full-time member. Strictly Kev revived the project in 2011 and released The Search Engine in 2012. PC would make an appearance, joining J.G. Thirlwell and The The’s Matt Johnson on the album’s long guest list.

And, as issued on The Search Engine in 2012:-

mp3: DJ Food (feat. Matt Johnston) – GIANT

Thanks, Khayem, for sending over the files for this version, along with a single edit and instrumental version.  Have played them a lot these past few days.



Matt Johnson, in conversation, 2008

“Lloyd and I used to have small studios/offices down the corridor from each other at Harold Dessau studios in downtown New York. It was like a sort of miniature, funky Brill building really. They had a main studio, which is where I recorded much of NakedSelf, and a nice rehearsal space, plus also a bunch of rooms that people would rent for their own use over the long term. It was a great place with a wonderful atmosphere. Lots of wooden floors, high ceilings, dusty velvet curtains and slow-moving ceiling fans. Totally unsuited to being a studio in a technical way but with a really warm and inspiring atmosphere.

It was my favourite studio outside my own place in London. We all really, really loved it down there, but sadly it’s since been demolished. There were quite a few people in there at its height from the mid to late 90’s and many of us would often pop into each other’s rooms to borrow equipment or just have a chat and a cup of tea. Lloyd and myself would often do that of a morning, bitching and moaning about the state of the industry or Britain or raving about some new piece of equipment or whatever. I sang on his album first I think and then he returned the favour by singing on GlobalEyes on NakedSelf, although his album came out quite a bit after mine.”

Matt is spot on in terms of the sequencing of the songs.  NakedSelf was released in 2000, while Memphis, the Lloyd Cole song on which he contributed a vocal, didn’t come out until 2002 on the album Etc.

mp3: The The – GlobalEyes
mp3: Lloyd Cole – Memphis

A couple of things.  LC’s contribution is very much as a backing vocalist among others and you’d be hard pushed to pick him out. MJ’s vocal on Memphis is also of the backing variety, but he’s on his own and you can just about recognise that it is him.  Oh, and Memphis was written by the actress Karen Black, which she sang, in character as country singer Connie White, in the 1975 film Nashville, directed by Robert Altman.