Its artists may be wildly eclectic, but the London-based label Ninja Tune has forged a singular identity, mixing jazz, hip-hop, and electronic music into something fresh and innovative.
Started in 1990 by Matt Black and Jonathan Moore (a.k.a. Coldcut), Ninja Tune was the duo’s outlet to expose the underbelly of London’s burgeoning trip-hop/breakbeat scene. The label’s first release was a series of breakbeat albums by DJ Food.
Roots Manuva and Wiley soon followed, however, these artists contained a sound that was infused by dub, dancehall and hip-hop which led to launch of Big Dada in ’97 with the assistance of hip-hop journalist Will Ashon.
Check out some of their spotlight artists below and grab a free MP3 from each:
Amon Tobin “Surge” (Two Fingers Mix)
Amon Tobin has established himself as one of the most innovative sound geniuses of electronic music. His latest album ISAM released in late May see’s Tobin experimenting in ways he’s never done before. Stream the entirety of the album here, and be sure to come back and let us know what you thought. Until then, download a remix of “Surge.”
Emika “Pretend” (Brandt Brauer Frick Rework)
If you swirled together some of the soft vocals of Portishead‘s Beth Gibbons, added some noticeable influences from Bristol house and Berlin techno, and filtered it through a musical landscape dominated by post-punk and dark wave, you might get something replicable to Emika.
Big Dada Releases:
DELS “Trumpalump” (Joe Goddard Remix feat. Ghostpoet)
With lyrics like “Is my heart really bleeding am I really alive? Am my six feet deep or closer to christ?” set against clean hip-hop beats and retro electro, Hot Chip‘s Joe Goddard‘s remix to DELS “Trumpalump” remind us of Lupe Fiasco, but with a little more roughness and futuristic qualities. Check it out!
Roots Manuva “Watch Me Dance”
Not one to shy away from experimentation, Roots Manuva creates multilayered British rap that continue to reflect the worldly tones and harmonies found in everything from dub, reggae, and electronic music.”Watch Me Dance” is from his eighth studio project called 4everevoluton.
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