Ninja Tune book in stores soon

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I finally got my hands on the thing that consumed most of my waking hours for the first 6 months of this year today… the Ninja Tune book I slaved over. I was up at Black Dog Publishing sorting out some things for the forthcoming exhibition and a shipment arrived from Italy, soaking wet, with the card board split down the sides in some cases! Hilariously the delivery man placed them beneath a poster proclaiming “Properly packed parcels please” :) They only had one copy of the hardback edition which comes with the XX box set because all other copies are being routed to the factory where it is being put together but it is a beautiful thing to behold. Also in the pictures you can see some of the exhibits stacked up ready for the opening on the 20th. The paperback version should be in stores by the end or the month, 192 pages, priced £19.95, if you see one, have a flick through and find out what the label has been up to for the last two decades.

Ninja Tune 20 year exhibition in London

Opening in 2 weeks time will be Ninja’s first bonafide exhibition in the UK to celebrate the publication of the book, ‘Ninja Tune: 20 Years of Beats & Pieces’. Black Dog Publishing have generously offered to host a little showcase of the design and imagery that went into it and, after designing the book, the box set and all the paraphernalia that goes with it, I’m curating the exhibition too. It will feature lots of original artwork, models, posters, sleeves, flyers and promo bits from across the years.

e-invite (no party)

It opens Friday, 20th of August at Black Dog’s gallery space, 10 Acton St. London, WC1X 9NG between 12-5pm weekdays and is only on for a month. There will be a special pop up shop on Saturday 11th September where there will be several special items for sale, hand picked from the Ninja archives as well as the new book.

Promo picture

XX Promo CDs

Ninja Tune XX 4xCD promos are in – all watermarked and going out to specific people, even I don’t have one! This is roughly half of what people who buy the box set will get, music-wise. The box is in production as we speak and Ninja are going to release several 12″s off the back of it plus a DVD.

Exclusive box set 12″s (only buyers of box set can get these – the individual code in each box must be given to get them – free! That’s right, free)
a. Pop Levi ‘Blue Honey’ (A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Mix by The Amorphous Androgynous – full 16 and a half minute version)
b. Coldcut ‘More Beats & Pieces’ (United States Of Audio Remix), Flanger ‘Psy Sound’

a. Roots Manuva ‘Witness (Modeselektor Remix)’, Coldcut ‘True Skool’ (Zomby Remix), Stateless ‘Ariel’ (Rustie’s Pentagram Remake)
b. DJ Food ‘Dark Lady’ (Alix Perez Remix), The Herbaliser ‘Something Wicked’ (Roots Manuva Dub)

12″s for General Sale
a. Two Fingers ‘Fools Rhythm’, Zomby ‘The Forest’,
b. Toddla T & Ms Dynamite “Want U Now’, Diplo ‘Summers Gonna Hurt You (2010 Remix)’

a. The Bug ‘Tune In’ (Version), Poirier ‘Get Crazy’ (Mark Pritchard Vocal)
b. Dj Vadim ‘The Terrorist’ (Gaslamp Computer Killer Remix), Coldcut ‘This Island Earth’ (Joe Goddard Remix)

a. Amon Tobin ‘Lost & Found’, Amon Tobin ‘Foley Versions’ (Kronos Quartet Interpretation)
b. Roots Manuva ‘Dub Styes’ (Michachu Remix), DELS ‘Eating Clouds’

a. Spank Rock ‘Tell Me What It Look Like’ (Todd Edwards Remix), Fink ‘Pretty Little Thing’ (EL-B’s Digital Remix)
b. Dark Sky – Leave, Shuttle – Lion

All in individual XX house bags – there will also be one more special 12” doing the rounds with a couple of mixes of a Ninja classic on either side…

Ninja Tune XX box set tracklist announced

Full boxset mock up 1

This has been consuming my time for the last 6 to 8 months – mainly the book but recently the box set and all its contents.

The set includes 3 hardback books: one is an exclusive hardback edition of the forthcoming Ninja Tune – 20 Years of Beats & Pieces book by Stevie Chick, published by Black Dog Publishing and designed by yours truly.

The second houses 6 CDs – 2 of them only available in this set, with 90% new and exclusive material specially made for this compilation. There is also a large format 24 pg booklet with a download code for a 7th CD’s worth of material (I can’t say what it is yet but it’s excellent).

The third book contains six 7″ singles with exclusive material not on the CDs, two posters – a Ninja family tree by Nigel Peake and a complete cover gallery by me – and 20 stickers. All this is housed in a heavy slipcase with foil blocking.

Go to the Ninjashop to pre-order at a limited cheaper price until July 8th and see the full tracklist. I’m pretty excited to hear these:

Big Dada Sound ‘Signs’ *

Eric B & Rakim ‘Paid In Full’ (Switch meets Coldcut Remix) *

Diplo ‘Summers Gonna Hurt You’ (Diplo 2010 Remix) *

Quincy & Xen Cuts Allstars ‘I Hear The Drummer’ (Tunng edit) *

DJ Vadim ‘Terrorist’ (Gaslamp Computer Killer Remix) *

Roots Manuva ‘Witness’ (Slugabed Remix) *

The Bug ‘Skeng’ (Autechre Remix) *

King Cannibal ‘The Grind & Crawl’ *

Coldcut ‘Autumn Leaves’ (2010 Budapest Mix) *

Coldcut ‘True Skool’ (Zomby Remix) *

Clifford Gilberto ‘Deliver The Weird’ (Dorian Concept Remix) *

The Bug ‘Poison Dart’ (Prefuse 73 Broke Moog Version) *

Roots Manuva ‘Witness’ (Modeselektor Remix) *

Roots Manuva ‘Join The Dots’ (Cut Chemist Remix) *

Kid Koala ‘3 Bit Blues’ *

Pop Levi ‘Blue Honey’ (Amorphous Androgenous Remix Edit) *

Coldcut & Hexstatic ‘Timber’ (The Orb Remix) *

DJ Kentaro ‘Paid In Full’ *

DJ Food ‘African Rhythms’ (Tom Middleton Remix) *

DJ Food ‘Dark Lady’ (808 State Remix) *

Herbaliser ‘Something Wicked’ (Roots Manuva Dub)

      Two Fingers ‘Bad Girl’ (The Bug Dub) *

      DJ Vadim ‘Bang it Out’ *

      Wagon Christ ‘Sloth Gets Paid’ *

        Montreal

        On Adam Ant’s solo album from 1983, ‘Strip’, he has a song called ‘Montreal’. It was always my favourite track on what was a pretty patchy album and it shares its name with is one of my favourite cities in the world, second only to my hometown of London. I love it mainly for its unpretentious, multi-cultural, wildly artistic inhabitants and this last weekend I was there playing at the Jazz Festival on a bill with Spank Rock and The Slew in one of two Ninja Tune XX shows. It was a pretty laid back affair as I flew in on Friday, played Saturday night and flew out on Sunday evening, a rare treat in my usual touring schedule. The weather was perfect and I got to catch up with lots of friends from the North American Ninja office which is based there as well as catching tons of amazing art dotted around the downtown district where the venue, Metropolis, was.

        The gig was good, Spank Rock were nuts and the Slew were just amazing, virtually playing their 100% album in its entirety. British Airways managed to forget my mixer in London so there was a mild panic for a minute to source a duplicate – I can’t do my video set without the Rane 57 – but this seemed no problem. It eventually turned up 20 minutes before I finished playing, being brought on stage by the soundman much to my relief.

        On Sunday I visited the Museum of Fine Arts to check out the Miles Davis exhibition which was stunning and is on until the end of August, make the effort if you’re in the city. It is laid out immaculately, chronologically guiding you through his life and work room by room. The late 60’s and 70’s rooms were the ones I’d come for and I wasn’t disappointed as they had the Mati Klarwein originals of the Live/Evil LP cover, Corky McCoy sketches for On The Corner and Water Babies and some hilarious memos to record company staff from Teo Macero. One for Filles De Kilimanjaro ended, “Also Miles would like all the titles on the album translated into French. HELP!”. The whole thing was suberbly put together with original LPs, magazines, sheet music, stage wear, instruments and even some of Miles’ art amongst much more – highly recommended.

        After this I met up with ex-Ninja staff, Phillipa Klein and Pat Hamou and Eric San (Kid Koala) who took us to a great Chinese dumpling spot nearby the museum. It’s not widely known but Eric is the number one food stop diviner when on tour. If you’re in a strange city and you need to eat, Eric will know somewhere that will usually turn out to be exceptional. After stuffing our faces we went back to Eric’s with his wife and daughter and marveled at his studio, chock full of amazing kit, 3D models of miniature towns they’d built for a forthcoming project and his own, personalised record cutter. In the basement there was a full size robotron ‘costume’ made out of metal and his studio boasts a massive model of a swordfish sitting atop a bookcase. He played me a new track he’s just finished for the Ninja Tune XX compilation and revealed that he’s recording the first parts of a new Slew record next week in between tour dates.

        My time was up so we drove back to my hotel and said goodbyes, a great way to spend a weekend for sure, the flight back was overnight and the week ahead sees me tying up the last parts of the Ninja box set artwork, starting a 4 deck AV set for the 20th parties and finishing a track for the compilation.

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