Xencuts (Ninja Tune) is one of those collections that’s so huge it becomes almost transparent, a backdrop against which everything else we listen to takes place. The Ninja Tune record label has been home to some of the most engaging electronic musicians of the past decade, from the Brazilian-born Amon Tobin to the Russian DJ Vadim; from the label’s sample-mad co-owners (Coldcut, aka Jonathan More and Matt Black) to the jazz-inflected relative newcomers of Cinematic Orchestra; from under-sung talents (Funki Porcini) to burgeoning turntable stars (Kid Koala). All of them, and more, are represented on this compilation — which, typical of the label’s homebrew spirit, comes in more formats than one cares to recount. Suffice to say, the harder-to-find edition includes a “Missed, Flipped & Skipped” EP of rarities by Tobin, Sukia, Squarepusher and others. Even without the rarities, though, the box is essential, as it provides a clear timeline between the second-generation hip-hop that got the label started and the ongoing innovations that kept fans happily guessing over the years. Ninja Tune was founded in 1990 when More and Black achieved major-label burnout — having gained fame for work with Eric B & Rakim, Yazz and Lisa Stansfield — and chose to retreat to the independent, artful, stealth habits of their label’s namesake. Here’s to another ten years.
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nettles: "An interesting ‘rarefied’ discussion of the find is at –> https://www.academia.edu/..."
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• December 13, 2015: The 19th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• Ongoing: The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: soundcloud.com.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
disquiet juntoThe Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. It's housed at soundcloud.com. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 10 most recent weekly projects: • 0197: Sight-read newly uncovered choral music from the 10th century. • 0196: Sight-read the whiteboard notation from a children’s music class. • 0195: Make music for a Caochangdi Village National Day party. • 0194: Record the sound of a clock and make something playful and sweet out of it. • 0193: Record a short composition for two instruments that occasionally intersect. • 0192: Record a 10-second loop to accompany an insane cat GIF. • 0191: One chord to rule them all — on several instruments. • 0190: Set two out-of-sync loops atop each other, and then add sonic glue. • 0189: Create a dense stack of attack-free tonal material from one audio source. • 0188: Take a provided track and make it more complex.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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