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NINJA TUNE

Igor Boxx

Breslau

    Igor Boxx known also as Igor Pudlo (from Ninja Tune's Polish act Skalpel) is opening a new decade with his first solo album, "Breslau". For Igor's solo debut album, the inspiration comes like before from his home country and his home town.

    "Breslau" tells a tale of 1945 siege of Festung Breslau undertaken by the Red Army. This journey is musically so emotional and powerful that it allows anyone to follow the story behind the track. Sounds are used to depict the massive force and fury of bolsheviks' attack and the determination of the terrorized civil population of the city to hold on. Krautrock grinding illustrates the monotony of the endless battle, psychodelic ornaments underline the absurd of wartime madness, jazz rhythms sound off the chaos on both sides of the conflict whilst ambient timelessness paints the overwhelming desperation of city defenders' efforts. The live version is more dynamic than the studio version describing the atmosphere of the last group of terrified citizens of Breslau whose dramatic faith is drummed out by Stalin's organs. The dance macabre in the ruins of burning, doomed city will be explosive.


    Bonobo

    Black Sands

      Simon Green aka Bonobo returns with his fourth, most eagerly-anticipated and most accomplished album to date, the magnificent "Black Sands". Green proves once and for all with "Black Sands" that he is an artist and producer with his sights set on much higher prizes than to rule any dusty sub-genre of dance music. Green's mix of beats and breaks (from the mellowest downbeats, via jazz breaks to UK garage style grooves and Afro-tinted jauntiness) with a melodic sensibility make for a great listen. This is a record of epic reach and massive emotional pull, all held together by Green's understanding of composition and arrangement of live instruments (most of them also played by him) as well as his complete mastery of the tricks and techniques of the digital age. "Black Sands" is the most contemporary record he has ever made.

      "Ninja Tuna" sees the triumphant aquatic-themed return of the reigning yet uncrowned world champion of fish-related cheekiness. Yes, Mr Scruff is back with a long player that's packed with pure funky loveliness from start to finish. The set opens with b-boy hip hop cut "Test The Sound" before heading straight into current single "Music Takes Me Up" featuring Alice Russell ("Donkey Ride" and "Kalimba" also feature), while other special guests include Roots Manuva, Quantic and Andreya Triana. As ever with a Scruff long player we get a nice mix of wobbly bass, funky breaks, jazzy grooves and soulful touches - sometimes all in the same song!

      The Cinematic Orchestra

      Live At Royal Albert Hall

        On November 2nd 2007, Jason Swinscoe brought an enhanced line-up of the The Cinematic Orchestra, incorporating the 24 piece Heritage Orchestra, to the Royal Albert Hall and played a show to a sold-out crowd of more than 4000 people. With over 40 musicians onstage at times, Swinscoe and his colleagues used the show as a unique opportunity to open out his chamber pieces into intense, beautiful and exquisitely realised epics which left the huge audience baying for more. Featuring vocal contributions from Heidi Vogel, Lou Rhodes (formerly of Lamb) and Grey Reverend, plus the return of original member PC on turntables, an intense, beautiful night is captured here in all its glory. History as it's lived, human emotion, love and rapture. You can feel it in the hairs on the back of your neck.

        The Herbaliser

        Take London

          Over the last decade, The Herbaliser's Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba have established themselves as one of the most innovative and reliable production duos to come out of the UK hip hop scene. This has been achieved, in part, by the kind of constant self-improvement which makes "Take London" their best album yet. You can hear it on the instrumental tracks on the record – the tender, angry "Song For Mary", electro-funk influenced "Gadget Funk", wah-guitared space funk of "Kittynapper" or chase scene jazz of "Geddim'" - where attention to detail and love of sixties soundtracks and library music are all mixed up with a dose of geezer front and b-boy charisma. Of course, The Herbaliser have also always had an eye for a killer vocal guest. Jean Grae (formerly known as What What) has been a long-time collaborator and here she contributes to four tracks, including the storming posse cut "Generals", "Twice Around" and moving "If You Close Your Eyes". The UK end is held up by Nottingham's Cappo (who has released material through Son and Zebra Traffic) and the one and only Roots Manuva. Then, just to finish off – and perhaps remind people how broad the duo's tastes are - there's a scintillating tribute to Serge Gainsbourg, "Serge", with a monologue from Katerine.

          The Herbaliser

          Something Wicked This Way Comes

            Combining live playing by the Easy Access Orchestra, studio trickery by Jake & Ollie with guest vocals from Dilated Peoples, MF Doom, Blade, Wildflower and Phi Life Cipher, this is a cinemtic hip hop tour de force!

            The Cinematic Orchestra

            Man With A Movie Camera

              Originally written for a one off live performance to accompany Dziga Vertov's classic 1929 Russian silent film 'Man With A Movie Camera', some of these tracks ("Evolution", "All Things"), and their 70s free-jazz inspired style went on to become the backbone of the "Everyday" sessions. Finally J Swinscoe and Co have gone into the studio and recorded the tracks (live) for this proper soundtrack LP.

              Coldcut

              Sound Mirrors

                In "Sound Mirrors" Coldcut have made the best album of their long and illustrious career. Their production has never sounded better, their ideas have never been more varied or more interesting, they've never had such a great cast of guests and then integrated them into their sound so well. Dancehall-hip hop cut "True Skool" features Roots Manuva adding vocal weight, while the electroclash-edged "Just For The Kick" has eerie words from legendary singer-songwriter Annette Peacock. "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" features the legendary Robert Owens on an epic, building, hands in the air tune, while "Mr Nichols" combines a beautifully subtle piece of music with a superb, deadpan piece of writing from Saul Williams. Former Ninja Andrew Broder, aka Fog, offers wonky, melancholy lyrics over a faltering kitchen sink orchestra backing on "Whistle And A Prayer" and so it carries on, with the likes of Mpho Skeef, Dom Spitzer and Black American poet Amiri Baraka guest spotting later on.

                Coldcut

                Sound Mirrors - Videos & Remixes

                  Stunning collection of videos and remixes for the "Sound Mirrors" album, with a beautifully designed DVD menu and 32 page booklet packaged in a DVD box. Coldcut have always been fascinated with the fusion of sound and vision and so the idea of them curating a DVD version of "Sound Mirrors" (their recent critically acclaimed album) is a fitting one. In collaboration with freelance music video commissioner Vez they set about taking the medium of the music video out of the realm of MTV and the cheesy promo, instead making the work a purely artistic expression of the music, in a move that takes the director out of the realm of painter for hire and gives them the creative recognition they so hugely deserve, not only in the creative brief but in how they are presented on the DVD and that their fee is an advance against royalties for their work - the same as if they were a guest musician - an exciting and bold move. As well as the DVD you also get a CD collection of remixes of tracks from the LP.

                  Kid Koala

                  Your Mom's Favourite DJ

                    Although there is the romance, silent movie comedy and a certain amount of swing on "Your Mom's Favourite DJ", the enthralling deftness and complexity you'd expect from Kid Koala is also here - woven together with classic hip hop beats, breaks and generous swathes of heavy guitars. Looking back to the seminal "Scratchcratchratchatch" cassette of a decade ago, the album also hints at the many projects Mr San has to come. There are references throughout to a book about a clarinet-playing mosquito that Eric is currently working on, also to the musical puppet show he has in development (honest).

                    Coldcut Feat. Robert Owens

                    Walk A Mile In My Shoes (Timo Garcia & The Cheshire Catz / Tom Belton Remixes)

                      This second set of "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" remixes are also on a house tip, but head straight to the main room of the club. First up is Timo Garcia & The Cheshire Catz (of Berwick Street Records "Into The Light" fame - big with Pete Tong) version on a hypnotic electrohouse tip, mostly instrumental but with a couple of vocal breakdowns. On the flip things go funky disco-house with Tom Belton's rework.

                      The Cinematic Orchestra

                      Remixes 98-2000

                        Collects together all their remixes of other people! Lush cinematic nu lounge / jazz surround sounds.

                        Dwight Trible & The Life Force Trio

                        Love Is The Answer

                          Over a remarkable career, this Los Angeles native has worked with everyone from Bobby Hutcherson and Charles Lloyd to Harry Belafonte. He is the vocalist with the Pharaoh Sanders Quartet and also the vocal director for the Horace Tapscott Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, a Los Angeles institution with a history stretching back forty years and an active engagement in the city's Black community since the Watts Uprising. Enthused by the power of Trible's vision, Carlos Nino (one half of AmmonContact) started speaking to the new luminaries of the LA scene about collaborating with this elder statesman and before he knew it he had an album which combined sixties-inspired avant / spiritual jazz with the hottest beats the city had to offer. Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Madlib, Daedelus, members of Platinum Pied Pipers, Jay-Dee - wherever he went, Nino found only enthusiasm, and the project began to take shape. From "Equipoise", on which Sa-Ra revisit 80s synth funk and give it their signature loping twist, through "Freedom Dance" with its Stetsasonic-meets-Fela vibe, on into the sheer oddness of the Madlib-produced "Waves of Infinite Harmony", the more straight-up boombap of "The Tenth Jewel", and finally through a last third that probably peaks with the incantatory "Musician's Union" (by Ammoncontact) and the beautiful "Constellations" (which grew out of a piano loop contributed by Prefuse 73's Scott Herren to the Piano Overlord project), this is a record of pure sonic invention and all round goodness.

                          Various Artists

                          Solid Steel Presents DJ Kentaro

                            Ninja Tune were introduced to the work of DJ Kentaro through his success at the 2002 DMC World finals where the Japanese turntablist won outright to become World Champion with a set of pure innovation using not just hip hop, but also reggae, drum & bass, house and electro, in the process achieving the highest score ever in a DMC Final. As such he seemed the perfect DJ to choose to produce a mix of the Ninja back catalogue for the Japanese market. A box full of vinyl and CDs was sent off to him and he began piecing together a selection from Jaga, Wagon Christ, DJ Food, Coldcut, Pest, Funki Porcini, Herbaliser and DJ Vadim to create a truly masterful mix. The CD came out in Japan in December 2004 and has since sold 15,000 copies in the territory. However, word of Kentaro's lightning skills spread way beyond Japan and it was decided it was time to share his talents with the world. To this end, a DVD was commissioned which showcases much of what is special about Kentaro. A mixture of live footage and animation (some of it 'visuscratched' by Kentaro himself), this selection of short films will appeal to the turntablist community but, as you'd expect, would also work well as audiovisual fodder for any party.

                            Skalpel

                            Konfusion

                              The Polish DJ duo aim to 'Resurrect the dusty and smoky spirit of '60s and '70s Polish Jazz and then re-imagine it for 21st century audiophiles'. This period in Polish history was deeply Communist and jazz presented a different reality and an emotional escape. From "Shivers", which does exactly what it says on the tin, on into the double bass-driven "Long Distance Call", the wah-trumpeted, heavy riffing "Test Drive", the funkiest drumming of the title-track and cut up torch song aesthetic of "Deep Breath", this is a record brimming with ideas, with atmosphere, with the kind of intelligent cut and paste that makes it an artform instead of a form of theft.

                              At last, Mr Scruff's 1997 self-titled (although often referred to as "Mrs Cruff") debut album gets re-issued! It's a fantastic collection of instrumental tracks indelibly marked with Scruff's sampladelic cheekiness and fat, deep BASS heavyness. Opening with the soundsystem-like "Sea Mammal", the album works its way through head-nodding hip hop breakers like "Bass Baby" and "Bonce", via the warm jazz moods of "Jazz Potato" and "Night Time" to the funky jazz-breaking "Crisps" and club smash "Chicken In A Box", setting out a statement of intent (fun, funky and fat) for all his future tracks. A welcome return of this northwest classic, I remember obsessing about Scruff early on in my music discovery and I'm proud to see after just over twenty years I wasn't wrong! - this still sound mega today! (not something that can be said about all of Matt's furtive musical steps... - ed).

                              TRACK LISTING

                              A. Sea Mammal 8:18
                              B1. Bass Baby 5:54
                              B2. Limbic Funk 5:28
                              C. Chicken In A Box 8:24
                              D1. Jazz Potato 6:03
                              D2. Bonce 4:58
                              E1. Night Time 5:58
                              E2. After Time 2:30
                              F. Crisps 6:25

                              Skalpel

                              Skalpel

                                Debut LP from the Polish duo of Marcin Cichy and Igor Pudlo, who, although acclaimed at home, have remained virtually unknown outside their national boundaries. Brought to the attention of Ninja Tune by DJ Vadim, they now reach a deserved wider audience. Drawing on their Eastern European jazz herritage, they update the sound with complex beat making and sometimes playful sample based themes.

                                The Cinematic Orchestra

                                Every Day

                                  Mind blowing second LP (i'm not including the remixes set) from J Swinscoe and Co. They're joined on three tracks by vocalists Fontella Bass and Roots Manuva, the other four are lush sweeping fusions of 70s style cosmic jazz, dreamy downbeat and nu-jazz. Very special... definitely one of the LPs of 2002!

                                  Mr Scruff

                                  Keep It Unreal

                                    Scruff's debut for Ninja Tune, and it's just one of those essential LPs for fans of quirky, jazzy upbeat downbeat grooves. Includes the massive trad-jazz-house anthem (and advert favourite) "Get A Move On", as well as "Honeydew", "Jus Jus" with Roots Manuva and the silly "Shanty Town" and "Fish".

                                    A product of post-acid house Manchester, Mr Scruff is a complete one-off; a cheeky innovator. His debut album is a bold statement, distinctive and confident. "Keep It Unreal" oscillates wildly between opposing styles - one moment Scruff's in deep, down-tempo dinner jazz territory, the next he's in Coldcut mode, chopping out superb big beat breaks with naughty hooklines to get you pogoing. At one extreme is the wacko humour of Spandex Man, bolshi breakbeat and a hooky 1920s jazz loop that'll make you grin. And then there's the even more ridiculous "Shanty Town", with samples of a Jacknory story about a whale. At the other end of the scale, is Scruff's accomplished acid jazz - like the serene, trip-hoppy "Midnight Feast" or the smoothie cocktail number "Honeydew", with it's loungey female vocals. This man is out there, the Salvador Dali of beats and breaks.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1. Is He Ready..... Feat. Mary Ann Hobbs 'The Breeze Blocks'
                                    2. Spandex Man
                                    3. Get A Move On
                                    4. MIdnight Feast
                                    5. Honeydew
                                    6. Cheeky
                                    7. So Long
                                    8. Chipmunk
                                    9. So You Hear?
                                    10. Shanty Town
                                    11. Jus Jus Feat. Roots Manuva
                                    12. Blackpool Roll
                                    13. Travelogue
                                    14. Fish


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