From the rather common "skate punk into alternative music" origins to a bedroom producer who signed with Ninja Tune, Bonobo, the stage name for Simon Green, has continued to change musically. From the lone musician who made sample-based music, he has expanded into working with field recordings, studio musicians, and live shows where the band took a four bar drum break transformed it into a seven minute epic drum-sax solo battle, to which the crowd tried to clap along. You can see him live tomorrow at the Alexandra Palace in London in a special Boiler Room session, but until then, there's plenty more to see, hear and read. [more inside]
Five years ago, Alfred Weisberg-Roberts, aka Alfred Darlington (more widely known as Daedelus) finally released an album with his wife, Laura Darlington, under the group name The Long Lost. And it's beautiful, light and airy orchestral pop that owes a greater debt to Caetano Veloso than Coldcut, the style of music that might not out of place being played live in a knitting shop, which could seem a bit strange for a group releasing their music on Ninja Tune. For further fond words, The Gaslamp Killer considered their album one of his top picks for 2009, and here's a nice interview with Alfred and Laura. But we're really here for the music, so here's their self-titled album, streaming on Grooveshark. [more inside]
“Stylistically, I never had a plan – at the time, I was listening to a lot of intelligent drum ’n’ bass, but when I heard Squarepusher I was like, I can’t listen to normal jungle any more." Vapor City is the 9th album from North Carolina born, New York & Berlin based 'future jungle' producer Machinedrum. Illustrated by the grey-and-black industrial sprawl on the cover, (it) is about an imaginary metropolis; each of its ten tracks is devoted to one of its districts. [more inside]
Slugabed has released his newest 5 track EP, This Is A Warning, for free. If you're looking for more of his wonky electronic/hip-hop stuff, you can also grab his remixes of Busta Rhymes, Leon Ware and Kankick for free. [more inside]
Keepintime started as a simple idea, to bring some of the most revered and notable L.A. session drummers together for a photo shoot, then have them talk about the recordings that were famous to hip-hop DJs and producers, with some top LA beat jugglers. From that effort in 2002 came the short film, Keepintime: Talking Drums and Whispering Vinyl (2 parts on YouTube). The short documentary toured around, and in 2002, along with the screening, some of the drummers and DJs put on a live improvised show in Los Angeles. From that 2 hour show, a 45 minute film was made: Keepintime - A Live Recording. Later that year, after screening the short film in England, the Keepintime crew were invited to Brasil, to team up with Brasilian percussionists of renown, and make a beat record. They also put on an epic live show. That whole enterprise was made into an almost two-hour long documentary, Brasilintime. More information on the artists inside. [more inside]
In April 1998, Ninja Tune duo Up Bustle & Out traveled from Bristol to Havana. They were greeted by legendary flautist Richard Egües, who would be their guide to meeting and recording a number of Cuban musicians over the next two months. The result was the two-volume Rebel Radio: The Master Sessions, an adventurous meeting point between 'the smokeyness of Bristol and the coolness of Havana'. UB&O's Rupert Mould kept a journal which he would later publish as The Rebel Radio Diaries.
"For us, it's devastating ... I'm sure there are labels which aren't insured. I'm sure there will be labels that will go bust." A fire set as part of the ongoing London riots has destroyed the Sony-owned PIAS distribution warehouse, decimating the physical stock of most of the UK's independent music and film labels. Over 150 companies have been affected, including Domino, 4AD, Warp, XL, Rough Trade, Ninja Tune, Soul Jazz, Fat Cat, Chemikal Underground, Rekids, and the DVD labels Arrow Films (whose entire stock has been destroyed) and Masters of Cinema. The warehouse also housed stock for American labels Sub Pop, Drag City, Thrill Jockey and Secretly Canadian and Vice. Everything stored in the 20,000 square meter warehouse has been destroyed.
Happy belated 39th birthday, Amon Adonai Santos de Araújo Tobin, or as most folks call you, simply Amon Tobin. The Brazilian-born producer first released music as Cujo, and has since moved on to his own name, with five albums and a slew of EPs and singles released since 1997, plus two video game soundtracks, and a film soundtrack. He also has an EP of collaborations, side projects with Joe "Doubleclick" Chapman as 60hz and Two Fingers. And that's the overview ... (music samples a-plenty inside, or you could skip the chatter and listen to much of Amon Tobin's discography streaming on his website). [more inside]
September 2010 marked 20 years of Ninja Tune, the independent label formed by the duo known as Coldcut. Starting with an album by the duo that they released under a different group name, the small UK label has since spiraled out to include three separate imprints (plus an artist-specific mini-label), with an extensive collection of singles, EPs and albums from an ever-growing list of artists. More history in words, music and video awaiting inside... [more inside]
You might have noticed his work in the collection of Windows 7 sample media, alongside a koala, penguins and a jellyfish, a piano tune and a version of Debussy's "Maid with the Flaxen Hair", or maybe his ditties got you tapping your toes in a video game. Perhaps you met him at his tea shop in Manchester (Google Streetview), home to his own line of organic teas. Maybe you know him for his marathon mixsets, running four, five, six, or almost seven hour long. You might know him as Andy Carthy, but it's a bit more likely you've already heard something of Mr. Scruff. [more inside]
Ninjatune podcasts including Coldcut and Big Dada podcasts, a Ninjacast which delves into the record crates of various ninja artists, and of course a Solid Steel podcast with 60-odd mixes available.
"Verbal" Amon Tobin throws down some old skool TRON visuals. (Quicktime Required) Amon Tobin not only has come out with a dastardly new album but he's also on tour in the US this next few months; the guy is a master of the sampler and should not be missed. The video rocks hard as well, I'd like to see this one on the big screen. I sound like a frickin' marketing weasel (which I'm not), but this guy deserves all the publicity he can get.