Xen Cuts

Xen Cuts

5.0 1

Started by Jonathan More and Matt Black of cut-'n'-paste gurus Coldcut, the Ninja Tune label has always followed a quirky inner logic that bypasses mainstream dance music sounds (house, trance, and big beat) for eclectic explorations of electronic beat science. The Ninjas continue to defy expectations with Xen Cuts, a three-disc…  See more details below


Started by Jonathan More and Matt Black of cut-'n'-paste gurus Coldcut, the Ninja Tune label has always followed a quirky inner logic that bypasses mainstream dance music sounds (house, trance, and big beat) for eclectic explorations of electronic beat science. The Ninjas continue to defy expectations with Xen Cuts, a three-disc compilation celebrating the label's tenth anniversary. Instead of stuffing the collection with high points from their stellar back catalogue, the London-based label coaxed two CDs of new material from their diverse roster of wax scratchers, knob twiddlers, and rhyme spitters. And the third disc is subtitled "Missed, Flipped & Skipped" and gathers unreleased gems, forgotten B-sides, and rare promo-only tracks. The breadth and depth of this survey is incredible and far too extensive to list here. But know this: The set includes selections of cutting-edge American rap (Saul Williams, Mike Ladd, Blackalicious), world hip-hop (Russia's DJ Vadim, the U.K.'s Roots Manuva), acid jazz (Up, Bustle and Out, DJ Food), jazzy down-tempo (Cinematic Orchestra, Amon Tobin), turntable pastiche (Coldcut, Kid Koala), experimental techno (Squarepusher, Neotropic, Luke Vibert), and much more -- absolutely essential listening for headz of all stripes.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Commemorating its tenth anniversary in similar fashion to the festivities at Warp during 1999, Ninja Tune Records celebrated with a three-disc compilation that spotlights not necessarily the greatest, but definitely the most overlooked, moments in the label's history. Founded in 1990 by Coldcut's Jonathan More and Matt Black in response to increasing frustration with major labels, Ninja Tune only earned notice after a few years of mediocre sampladelic records. When the enterprise really exploded in 1995, however, it soon spawned an excellent roster of artists from all sorts of beat-oriented camps: trip-hop (Funki Porcini, Up Bustle & Out), drum'n'bass (Amon Tobin, Animals on Wheels), and hip-hop (DJ Vadim, the Herbaliser, Kid Koala), as well as more ambient techno (Irresistible Force, Neotropic) via the Ntone sub-label. Xen Cuts presents almost 50 tracks spread over three hours, and the focus on previously unreleased (or unavailable on compact disc) material makes for a compilation of many pleasant surprises. Remixers provide many of the highlights, including Jimpster (Irresistible Force's "Nepalese Bliss"), Squarepusher (East Flatbush Project's "Tried by 12"), Roots Manuva (Amon Tobin's "Saboteur"), Fourtet (Cinematic Orchestra's "Channel 1 Suite"), and John McEntire (the label classic "More Beats & Pieces" by Coldcut). Anyone seeking an overview that hits every high will be disappointed -- there's barely an original single to be found on this entire collection, despite the preponderance of B-sides -- but Ninja Tune exercised such remarkable quality control during the mid to late '90s that it barely shows.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Ninja Tune


Disc 1

  1. The Xen to One Ratio
  2. Showtime  -  Big Dada Sound
  3. 2 the Left  -  Dynamic Syncopation
  4. Qms  -  T.Love
  5. 8pt Agenda  -  Latryrx
  6. Ug  -  Scruff
  7. Memories  -  Neotropic
  8. Rhythm & Blues Angus Steakhouse  -  Cabbageboy
  9. Saboteur  - Amon Tobin
  10. Your Revolution  - DJ Vadim
  11. Nepalese Bliss  - Irresistible Force
  12. Emperor's Main Course in Cantonese  - Kid Koala
  13. Give It Up  -  Coldcut
  14. Hip Hop Barrio  -  Up, Bustle and Out
  15. Blue Flames  -  Blackalicious
  16. Night Night Theme  -  Infesticons
  17. I Hear the Drummer  - Luke Vibert
  18. Ninjah (We Are Ninja)  -  Fink

Disc 2

  1. The Joy of X
  2. The 10th Victim  -  Clifford Gilberto Rhythm Combination
  3. Soul Pride  -  Cinematic Orchestra
  4. Los Locos Cubanos  -  Up, Bustle and Out
  5. Down & To the Left  - Amon Tobin
  6. My Life in These Bottles  -  Loka
  7. Original Sins  - Chris Bowden
  8. Restless  -  Clifford Gilberto Rhythm Combination
  9. Build a Church With Your Fear  -  Animals on Wheels
  10. The Ageing Young Rebel  -  DJ Food
  11. Quicksilver Loom  -  Flanger
  12. Big Sea  - Funki Porcini
  13. Arcane  -  Arc
  14. Big Amoeba Sound  -  Max & Harvey

Disc 3

  1. Twice the First Time  - Saul Williams
  2. More Beats & Pieces  -  Coldcut
  3. Dubble (Organ Swell)  - Funki Porcini
  4. No Mind  -  Happy Campers
  5. Peace Pt. 1  -  DJ Food
  6. Happy Band  -  Scruff
  7. Drunk Trumpet  - Kid Koala
  8. Non Lateral Hypothesis  - DJ Vadim
  9. Ninja Tune  -  Hexstatic
  10. Movements  - Roots Manuva
  11. Tried by 12  -  East Flatbush Project
  12. Feel'n You & Me  -  Sukia
  13. Channel 1 Suite  -  Cinematic Orchestra
  14. Bad Sex  - Chris Morris
  15. (Untitled)

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ken Nordine   Track Performer
Frank Chickens   Track Performer
Flo   Drums
Tom Gordon   Drums
Sara Jones   Track Performer
Irresistible Force   Track Performer
Andrew Ross   Flute
DJ Food   Track Performer
Chris Morris   Track Performer
Arc   Track Performer
Up, Bustle and Out   Track Performer
Cabbageboy   Track Performer
Sukia   Track Performer
Scruff   Track Performer
Kid Koala   Track Performer
Latyrx   Track Performer
Animals on Wheels   Track Performer
Resonance   Track Performer
Happy Campers   Track Performer
Chris Bowden   Alto Saxophone
T-Love   Track Performer
Steinski   Track Performer
Clifford Gilberto Rhythm Combination   Track Performer
Phil France   Double Bass
Andy Hamill   Bass
Minaly Biggs   Double Bass
East Flatbush Project   Track Performer
Saul Williams   Track Performer
Roots Manuva   Track Performer
Gay-Yee Westerhoff   Cello
Flanger   Track Performer
Quannum   Track Performer
Cinematic Orchestra   Track Performer
Mass Influence   Track Performer
Infesticons   Track Performer
Hexstatic   Track Performer
Shorti   Track Performer
Max and Harvey   Track Performer
Neptune   Track Performer
Flexus   Track Performer
Big Dada Sound   Track Performer
Alex James   Piano
Fink   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Warren Hill   Producer
Coldcut   Producer
Quincy   Arranger,Producer
Woob   Producer
Mixmaster Morris   Producer
Dean Smith   Producer
Atom Heart   Producer
Funki Porcini   Producer
Neotropic   Producer
Si Begg   Producer
Amon Tobin   Producer
DJ Vadim   Producer
Herbaliser   Producer
Loka   Producer
Luke Vibert   Producer
Process   Producer
PC   Producer
Spencer Bellamy   Producer
Chief Xcel   Producer
Part 2   Producer
Strictly Kev   Producer
Chris Bowden   Arranger,Producer
Florian Schmitt   Producer
Andy Carthy   Producer
Jason Swinscoe   Producer
Dynamic Syncopation   Producer
Ollie Teeba   Remixing
Jake Wherry   Producer
Rupert Mould   Producer
D. "Ein" Fell   Producer
Jamie Finch   Engineer
BBC   Engineer

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Xen Cuts 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don't even bother listening to it before hand. Just get it. Loaded w/ hip-hop, jazz, trip-hop, oriental sounds, and something in between all that, you get an incredible amount of good music with the three cd set.