label: ninja tune
compilation includes: coldcut, dj food, east flatbush project, bonobo, dj vadim, cinematic orchestra, herbaliser, others.
year of release: 2004
CD 1
1. Coldcut : Atomic Moog (Cornelius Mix)
2. DJ Food : Scratch Yer Head (Squarepusher Mix)
3. East Flatbush Project : Tried By 12 (Squarepusher Mix)
4. Bonobo : Pick Up (Fourtet Mix)
5. 2 Player : Extreme Possibilities (Wagon Christ Mix)
6. Mr Scruff : Sweetsmoke (Manitoba Mix)
7. DJ Vadim : USSR Reconstruction (Jamie Hodge Mix)
8. DJ Food : Turtle Soup (Luke Vibert Mix)
9. Fog : Pneumonia (Coldcut Mix)
10. Cinematic Orchestra : All That You Give (Dr Rockit Mix)
1. Cinematic Orchestra : Evolution II (Mr P Mix)
2. DJ Food : Consciousness (Ashley Beedle Mix)
3. Cinematic Orchestra : Man With The Movie Camera (Domu Mix)
4. Ashley Beedle : Heaven & Earth (Remix)
5. Herbaliser : Something Wicked (Herbaliser Bossa Mix)
6. Chris Bowden : Crockers & Killers (Easy Access Mix)
7. Irresistible Force : Fish Dances (Frederic Galliano Mix)
8. DJ Food : The Crow... (Kaleioscope version)
9. The Herbaliser : Mrs Chombee Takes The Plunge (DJ Food Mix)
10. Autumn Leaves (Irresistible Force Mix)
Ninja Tune will go down in history as one of the best labels ever. Ever! Eevveerr!! This UK imprint has pioneered styles, moved and shook, it is artsy but also important to and in honor of art. It tried, it dared, it put out good music, put out unpopular music, made that popular, it's cool, kinda nerdy and it's successful. That and much else made Ninja Tune different, so different that it releases it's 'best of' records after Christmas, not before Christmas as everyone else does. However, 'best of'. That term will have many in their offices and artists cringe. That's why they call it 'retrospective'.
There's two parts to this retrospective, a 'general' one of their 'hits' (again, more cringing) called "Zen CD". That one however is subject to another review. Because the second one ("Zen RMX") is a special one: a retrospective of some remixes. And even though you're welcome to argue, it might just be the more interesting one.
Remixes, if done well, are more a re-arrangement of a song, than a recomposition. Meaning that if you still find the original song in the remix, then it's mission accomplished. In a way a remix is like a pizza fungi: the original, pizza fungi, is good as it is. But you can add extra olive oil, throw on more mozzarella, put garlic on there and it's still a fungi, but with a little more umph. Then again, you can also get rid off the mushrooms, maybe even mozzarella, throw on gorgonzola and onions, and it's a whole new thing, still based on dough and tomatoes.
This compilation gives us both scenarios: fungi plus, as well as bizarro fungi. A bizarro fungi remix is Squarepusher's interpretation of the classic "Tried By 12" by the East Flatbush Project. While the spine melody is staying the same, it gets replayed, the voice is altered and the speed is more than new. The track mutates. On the other end of the spectrum, there's the Herbalizer's "Something Wicked (Herbaliser Bossa Mix)". While it sure changed in appearance too, it's more like the difference from a toddler to a teenager: the features are the same or similar. And finally, Coldcut's "Atomic Moog (Cornelius Mix)" turns the song into a faster moving, crashing and building epic anthem, that gives a little glimpse of the middle ground between bizarro and plus.
At the same time, you, we, us will probably not know every original version of each song on here (that's also what the "Zen CD" is for). What however proves to be irrelevant. These songs, may they be fungi plus or bizarro fungi, are mainly delicious fungi. There's not much sense in mentioning all twenty songs on this double CD, but for completeness' sake, it would be necessary. As there's not so much as a bad moment on this record (okay, 2 Player's "Extreme Possibilities (Wagon Christ Mix)" is not that exciting). You're blessed with the deepness of "Evolution II (Mr P Mix)" by Cinematic Orchestra, the jazz of Mr Scruff's "Sweetsmoke (Manitoba Mix)" and DJ Vadim's "USSR Reconstruction (Jamie Hodge Mix)", the ffrr vibe of Ashley Beedle's "Heaven & Earth (Remix)", the scruffiness of DJ Food's "Scratch Yer Head (Squarepusher Mix)", the pop of Fog's "Pneumonia (Coldcut Mix)" and the minimalism of DJ Food's "The Crow... (Kaleioscope Version)", The Herbaliser's "Mrs Chombee Takes The Plunge (DJ Food Mix)" and Bonobo's "Pick Up (Fourtet Mix)". Although that drum is hardly minimal.
And finally, there's "Autumn Leaves (Irresistible Force Mix)". The song is incredible, moving, carrying you through waves and wave lengths, offering the perfect ending to the musical journey you've gone through. But who's the artist? Interestingly enough, none is credited. However, if you peek at "Zen CD", it also features a track called "Autumn Leaves", by a group called Coldcut. Hmm.
So what we probably should do is get that other double CD and see if there's any resemblance. Okay? So get "Zen RMX" and "Zen CD" and let's meet here again, in let's say, an hour? Great.
>> Go to this Ninja Tune page for the audio of all the songs.
review: tadah
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