Ninja Tune is a British label founded in 1990 by DJs and producers Coldcut (Matt Black and Jonathan Moore). It's based in London and specialises in different varieties of electronic music, such as abstract hip-hop, nu jazz, drum'n'bass, trip-hop and downtempo. Its sound is eclectic and its spirit is relaxed. The label's origins date back to the “Solid Steel” radio show and the club night of the same name, organised by Black and Moore at the end of the eighties.
In its first years, Ninja Tune became famous with the “Jazz Breaks” series by DJ Food, a project by Black and Moore. It focused on breaks and instrumental hip-hop with a strong jazz component, the sound of which greatly shaped the label’s identity. Their first signings (The Herbaliser, Amon Tobin, Funki Porcini and DJ Vadim) further established the Ninja Tune sound as one of the pillars of trip-hop and a landmark label in the world of downtempo and jazzy beats. In 1996, they opened an office in Montreal, Canada.
At the end of the nineties, they started subsidiary label Big Dada, which specialised in experimental hip-hop with acclaimed releases by the likes of cLOUDDEAD, Roots Manuva and The Infesticons. In the noughties, the label continued with successful artists like Mr. Scruff, The Cinematic Orchestra, Kid Koala and, more recently, Emika. In 2010, Ninja Tune celebrated its 20th birthday with the compilation “Ninja Tune XX: 20 Years Of Beats & Pieces”.
Coldcut: “Let Us Play” (1997)
Mr. Scruff: “Keep It Unreal” (1999)
Amon Tobin: “Supermodified” (2000)
The Herbaliser: “Something Wicked This Way Comes” (2002)
The Cinematic Orchestra: “Everyday” (2002)
Wagon Christ: “Sorry I Make You Lush” (04)
9 Lazy 9
Animals on Wheels
The Cinematic Orchestra
East Flatbush Project
London Funk Allstars
Nonplace Urban Field
Up, Bustle and Out