|1. The Xen To One Ratio (Intro) - Steinski|
|2. Showtime - Big Dada Sound|
|3. 2 Tha Left - Dynamic Syncopation Feat. Mass Influence|
|4. QMS - T Love|
|5. 8pt Agenda - The Herbaliser Feat. Latyrx|
|6. Ug - Mr. Scruff|
See all 18 tracks on this disc
|1. The Joy Of X (Spotters Delight) - Flexus Intro|
|2. The 10th Victim - Clifford Gilberto|
|3. Soul Pride - Neptune|
|4. Los Locos Cubanos (Snowboy Mix) - Up, Bustle & Out|
|5. Down & To The Lift - Amon Tobin|
|6. My Life's In These Bottles - Loka|
See all 14 tracks on this disc
|1. Twice The First Time - Saul Williams|
|2. More Beats And Pieces (John McEntire Tortoise Mix) - Coldcut|
|3. Dubble (Organ Swell) - Funki Porcini|
|4. No Mind - Happy Campers|
|5. Peace, Pt. 1 - DJ Food|
|6. Happy Band - Mr. Scruff|
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Tenth anniversary? Pah, old hat, been done (to death) by everybody else already - eight hundred CDs belched from the depths of a marketing man's torrid night-time cum-hither fantasy. Now That's What I Call A Bunch Of Old Ravers/Jazzers/IndustryTarts Cashing In Number 4080
But hey, we're due a new Ninja Cuts anyway. Why not tie it in a little? Come up with a high-concept title - XEN - in gold leaf lettering, just for a larf like? Why not? Keep it short, sweet and see what happens?
The grand old heads meet and agree the principle - ad hoc stylee. The new Ninja Cuts is born.
But baby Xen is not like other compilations. While the Ninja do their ninjy thing (y'know, with those little stars and all of that), baby Xen starts sucking stuff in, feeding, feeding, a black hole in the corner of the office, forever sucking. Insatiable.
It's just a single CD of new material.
It's a double CD of new material and singles tracks.
It's a double CD of new material and singles tracks plus a third CD of 'missed, skipped and flipped' something like that tunes.
And suddenly, the Ninja look up from their desks and in the corner of the room is Xen-Elvis in the Laos/Vegas phase, a huge, sparkling, bloated monster of a compilation, surrounded by four hundred dancing girls (policitcally correct, o'course), four hundred dancing boys (anatomically correct, o'course), pyrotechnics, a Noah's ark of performing animals, great skipfuls of fattening food and a pantheon of two-headed gods, all smiling beatifically and setting their bellies wiggling in time with a multiplicity of beats. All giving off this weird glow - buddhist technicolor.
And the buildings are trembling, cracks appearing in the walls, spangly stars flying out of every orifice of the screaming office Ninj, swirling up and round Xenelvis as he begins to puke out great swathes of music. Stylistically
CD1 is full of all your favourite groups; The Herbaliser, Roots Manuva, Mr Scruff, Cinematic Orchestra, Kid Koala, Coldcut and Fink. It's THE résumé of the Ninja Tunes cast-list and tracks like "8 Point Agenda" by the Herbaliser and Latryx just blow any competition away. The cut-up intro almost teases you to try and name as many of the great Ninja Tune hits as you can in 3 minutes.
CD2 is more chilled. A kind of Jazz Café del Mar with more imaginative rhythms and far less soporific.You end up asking yourself why you haven't heard of half of these artists before. Break out the Ninja Skins and enjoy!
CD3 is the unreleased, unheard of and the unusual side of Ninja Tunes. Again the question is posed: Who ARE these brilliant people and where do they all come from? Of course there are a few of your 'big names' thrown into the mix but that just makes for juicy reading on the back cover before you listen to it.
The other facter that got me hooked was the design. Ninja Tunes are kind of known for their unique design style and the kind of logo I wish I could have created of myself. The booklet gives a humourous run-down of the past 10 years, complete with chronological listing of all Ninja Tunes or N-Tone records ever released. Perfect for filling in the gaps of your collection, and believe me, when you get to the end of the third CD and put CD1 back on again without thinking, you'll want to know every Ninja Tune disc ever released and where you can get your hands on one, fast! Hats off to Coldcut, Ninja Tunes goes from strength to strength and this proves it. Damn it's good!
Far too many tracks to go into in detail in a review here but those who know their Ninja Tune will be right at home with offerings from Funki Porchini, Kid Koala, Coldcut (label bosses of Ninja Tune), DJ Food (who's Ageing Young Rebel appears on this CD in a version thats completely different ... and better to their album version), Roots Manuva, Luke Vibert ... the list just goes on. Each Ninja artist seems to have reached their peak with every track thats been selected from them, as if they have pulled out all the stops for this 10 year celebration of Ninja.
Each CD has a theme, disc 1 tends to take hip hop and rough gritty instrumental breaks, shining examples are from The Herbaliser, The Big Dada Soundsystem, Neotropic, DJ Vadim and Cabbageboy. Disc 2 heads for the more experimental and jazzy side of Ninja Tune, funk comes to the fore with cinematic soundscapes being the order of the day, DJ Food, Animals On Wheels, Funki Porchini and Amon Tobin all have quality offerings here. The final disc is a summary of older Ninja Tune, rare Ninja Tune, Chris Morris and Amon Tobin pop up with a track from his Jam series, Roots Manuva does Movements live, Squarepusher rips up in mad machine funk and once again Coldcut and Funki Porchini get a look in with slices of quality.
Inside the CD you get a booklet detailing the entire 10 years of Ninja Tune and its a thoroughly entertaining read. This is an essential purchase for Ninja heads who don't have this already. Those who like hip hop and chill should also take a look in. For the Ninja person who has it all, check out the Coldcut/DJ Krush mix Cold Krush Cuts/Back In The Base for the finest Ninja Tune back catalogue mixed up by the masters. And DEFINATELY check Coldcut's 70 Minutes Of Madness Journeys by DJs mix, the best DJ mix ever.
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