Let Us Play
- RELEASED: Sept 1997
- FORMAT: 2xLP / 2xCD / VHS
- LABEL: NINJA TUNE
- CAT No.: ZEN30 / ZENCD30 / ZENVD30
- DESIGN CREDITS: Openmind / Coldcut / Hex
- PHOTOGRAPHY: Suzi Green
- SPOTTERS DELIGHT: 4xLP test pressings of live tracks for gig use that include instrumental and unreleased tracks. Japanese CD version with extra mixes.
- EXTRA ZEN: ninjatune.net page
This was a very big deal for Ninja as expectation was running high and Coldcut hadn’t released anything since their lauded Journeys By DJ mix. Also they were planning to includee a CD-ROM (remember them?) of games, software and the like including a demo version of their VJAMM program. There was a lot to cram in, collaborators, lyrics, a certain historical element and the new computer generated Matt and Jon created by Hex. It was a case of everything and the kitchen sink, inner sleeves would take care of a certain amount of info including nearly a hundred photos taken around the Ninja studios by Suzi Green, resident photographer and club night coordinator.
Because of the title it was decided the cover should be a Coldcut toybox full of artifacts that signposted parts of their career both past present and future so a large square flightcase was found and filled with anything relevant we could find. A shoot was set up in the studios at Clink St and several different versions were down from above and the side as well as the bottom of the box for the back cover. I’ve included one of the different arrangements here and you’ll notice that the ‘dolls’ aren’t there as they were still being modelled and would be photo-shopped in later. There was a fake VJAMM / Coldcut kit box made as well as a Let Us Play instruction and assembly sheet which showed the title as there was to be no text over the photo.
The inside was a virtual image created by Coldcut and Hex of Matt and Jon as naughty kids, caught playing in a bedroom or studio and some sort of chakra diagram was to be overlaid over this. As with most things Coldcut there were so many ideas flying around it was hard to make it all look coherent and I probably didn’t help with the fonts and colours I chose adding to the multicoloured, info overload. It’s never been a favourite of mine (too many colours) but it has some nice bits here and there like the inner sleeves of the vinyland the Let Us Play font (cribbed from an old Letraset book). I’ve included my first ever cover image at the end of the gallery, before I had been given anything but the title, it’s very Stereo Test record-orientated rather than toy-based and bears no relation to the final cover whatsoever.