UK indie label Ninja Tune turned twenty last year. For those of you unfamilliar with this label, they got their start as one of the premiere stables of 90â€™s era DJ, hip-hop and turntablist acts.
Boasting such names as Herbaliser, Amon Tobin, Kid Koala, and Roots Manuva, Ninja Tune started as a trendsetterÂ thatÂ pushed the boundaries of music, collaboration, and what a label could really be.Â Started by well-known DJ duo Coldcut, Ninja Tune has been able to not only survive, butÂ prosper.
Twenty years of any business venture is nothing to sneeze at, especially in the independent music scene. Ninja Tune has kept their sound fresh by constantly finding new talent, exploring music from around the world, and bringing an innovative vision to fans.
The box set is chock full of goodness. Luckily for the fans though, itâ€™s not simply a retreading of all their past accomplishments.Â It’s less “greatest hits” and more “up and coming” tracks on the six disks andÂ featuresÂ the labelâ€™s newest heavy hitters: Diplo, Daedelus, Blockhead, Bonobo, and DJ Food along with bucketfulls of other acts.
The music ranges from dub dancehall, to instrumental electronica, jarring techno, and back to soul-infused R&B, along with the usual staple of DJ remixes, synthy Japanese-influenced trip-hop, and flowing hip-hop.
Of the eighty-five tracks (over eight hours of music) a few gems really sparked my auditory enthusiasm. Make sure to check out Offshoreâ€™s “Jen at the Station” for some sick ambient, Flying Lotus kills it with a remix of Andreya Trianaâ€™s “Lost Where I Belong,” while Diplo weighs in heavy with â€œSummerâ€™s Gonna Hurt You,” and “Sun Will Rise” by Bonobo & Speech Debelle is a perfect example of what will make Ninja Tune endure for another twenty years.