Dear Music Fans,
As we continue to embark on our journey through the madness that is my taste in music, it’s time to make our way back around once again to a record label that has been cranking out some of the best DJs that the DJ world has to offer. Last time I started talking about Ninja Tune, I got a bit sidetracked and really only gave you two of their artists to listen to. Well, that is just unacceptable and you all need to start listening to more of the fantastic music that makes up Ninja Tune. I was looking at their website while writing this post it came to my attention that they have signed a ton of new artists to their roster. Now, I have a bunch of new music that I’m going to have to sift through. However, you should all keep in mind that I would encourage you all to check it out on your own and to decide what you like for yourself.
I guess the best people to start talking about today would be the men who started this fine label, Matt Black and Jonathan More, who are better known as the two DJs that make up Coldcut. These guys have been around for what seems like forever in electronic music, forming in 1986, so they have had plenty of time to hone their craft. It’s hard to place them into one category of music because they have been experimenting with so many styles throughout their long and diverse career. First and foremost they are turntablists, so there are plenty of hip hop vibes within their music, but they also play with samples from jazz to spoken word to working in some break beat styles as well as some blues and funk. Their latest experiment was a collaboration with video remixer, TV Sheriff. They came together to summarize the 2008 presidential elections to the tune of some absolutely banging drum and bass.
One of the biggest Ninja Tune artists right now is the British DJ, Bonobo. Taking his name from one of the smartest apes out there, some have been trained to use a keyboard and have learned to use around 500 words. They usually won’t be found in zoos because their sexual habits are just too similar too humans. Now enough about that and on to the music. He has been producing tracks since the late nineties and his music is pretty down tempo and chilled out but still makes want to get up and dance with his infectious rhythms. His latest album Black Sands, has the same sort of vibe as the debut album from Pretty Lights. His music like many other artists on this label would be considered NuJazz, combining elements of jazz and electronic music. He has really soulful bass lines with rhythms that constantly progress over the course of a song and help to push it forward. He has hopped on the bandwagon that many other DJs are on these days of playing with live musicians as he now performs with a full band at many of his concerts now. His song Animals features a 6/8 clave that is most commonly found in latin music.
The final group for today has the largest discography that to be released on Ninja Tune, and while the two have now parted ways the music that I’m going to focus on was released on Ninja Tune. The duo of DJ Rudy and DJ Dave, the two DJs with the most original names, have been making music together since the early nineties under the name Up, Bustle and Out. Their music encompasses many genres of music including jazz, hip hop, some drum and bass and a little bit of funk, they also have some latin flare to their music, they even worked with a cuban composer on some of their music. There is a lot of diversity within their music as you listen to their albums it seems like one song can be a completely different genre from the next, but they manage to do this while having a really smooth flow throughout their music.
Once again there’s another big weekend for live music in Toronto. On Friday February 25, Check out Lust at Lily Lounge. This party is featuring some of the best drum and bass DJs that the city has to offer, including Mutt, Mr. Brown and Detox who will be playing a special mixed genre set. Then on Saturday the 26th, one of the craziest Jamtastic shows ever will be going down at the Tiger Bar. I promise that this is not a party you are going to want to miss, the headlining band Ninja Funk Orchestra who plays really funky drum and bass will blow your mind, then the dynamic duo of DJ Elo and Jaime Rosenberg who are gonna be throwing down some hip hop and some grimey ass dubstep. The show also features the bands Toast and the Close Encounters who are all incredibly talented musicians with some really cool sounds. And to top off the whole night, speacial guest Brownman Ali will be performing with all of these bands, so mark this in your calendars because this is a show that you do not want to miss. After this show when you’ve all had your minds blown by Brownman, and realize that you have been missing out by not going to his shows, no worries, he’s playing again on Sunday night at the Trane Studio. This show is a special benefit show to raise money because of his car getting stolen while performing in Buffalo. I don’t know exactly who any of the other musicians will be, but I can promise that they will be some of the most talented members of the Toronto hip hop and jazz communities. So come out and support Brownman because this will be the last show in Toronto before he embarks on his five week national tour.
-Signed Sincerely, Hooch