A Ninjatune commission featuring Blockhead.
In my late thirties my right hand at The Record Den was Chris, aka DJ Weirton, and he not only was a very cool cat, but he turned me on to a lot of great music. He leveraged our common ground stretched between Lee Perry, Run DMC, and Bill Laswell, so I offered up Muslimgauze, and he offered up a world of chill hip hop and breaks and turntable-ism and dub. Much of this centered on the stable at Ninja Tune, with Coldcut, The Herbalizer, Up Bustle and Out, DJ Food, Roots Manuva, Hexstatic, Wagon Christ, The Cinematic Orchestra, Funki Porcini, Kid Koala, Amon Tobin leading the way.
Ninja Tune has been celebrating it’s twentieth anniversary for the last year, and at the end of March, Rarities was released. The label has churned out a lot of hoppin’ compilations over the years, including a number of deluxe multi-disc sets. Actually, the six disc anniversary set, Ninja Tune XX, would be the place to start the journey. The compelling feature given the sonic mashing found on the various compilations are the threads drawn between different musical sources, so, for example, there is the beguiling stitching together of Cuban music, breaks, dub, and hip hop in the music of Up, Bustle and Out, or the mix of drum and bass and Brazilian music discoverable in Amon Tobin‘s grooves. And, literally, this goes on and on.