Ninja Tunes are 20 years old and are celebrating this monumental achievement by releasing a box set containing a wealth of outstanding music and other treats, highlighting what this wonderful label has contributed to modern music. I can still remember the days of seeing the Ninja Tune logo on the first releases that epitomised cool to so many during those joyous 12' vinyl grabbing days. It was a great vision by DJs Matt Black and Jonathan More, better known as Coldcut, who saw the future of progressive music, that Ninja Tune capture so well and release independently. This family of Ninjas still rest in their homely abode in London and have offices in Los Angeles and Montreal. For me the impact of Ninja Tune is truly significant and with sub labels like Big Dada and most recently Ninja Tuna, its clear Ninja Tune is here to stay. With artists like Mr Scruff, Roots Manuva, Bonobo, Diplo, Toddla T, The Cinematic Orchestra, The Herbaliser, DJ Food, Amon Tobin, DJ Vadim, Fink, Spank Rock and most recently Andreya Triana, who could imagine a world without Ninja Tune!
The Ninja Tune XX Box Set showcases a history of great releases from this label from obvious classics like Roots Manuva's 'Witness' and Finks' 'This Is The Thing' to upcoming tracks from the likes of Eskmo, Stateless and many others. It's a truly impressive selection of tracks with 7' singles included in the Box Set. However what makes this collection truly 'must have' is the remixes that are contained here. For example you have Antipop Consortium 'Volcano' (Four Tet Remix), Fink 'This Is The Thing (EL-B Remix), Diplo 'Summer's Gonna Hurt You' (Diplo 2010 Remix), Andreya Triana 'Lost Where I Belong' (Flying Lotus Remix), Roots Manuva 'Let The Spirit' (Hot Chip Remix) and the list goes on and on! It's quite staggering to have so many good tunes and unique collaborations on one collection side by side.
I have absolute respect and admiration for the Ninja Tune ethos and vision. This XX Box Set shows off so many individual and excellent gems, a DJ's dream really. With a plethora of sounds from progressive break beat, electro and alternative sounds of hip hop, nu jazz, all under the same family, there's no denying Ninja Tune are an example of modern cutting edge music that is relevant and expressive to our modern time. During the last twenty years Ninja Tune have educated and brought the sounds of many progressive artists to the masses, all in the spirit of underground independence and long may it continue for another 20 years!