|Country of origin||UK|
|Location||London, Los Angeles|
The label was one of the first record labels in Britain to consistently embrace and release artists that create and perform new forms of electronic dance music since the 1990s, notably hip hop and breakbeat. The label now releases music of various genres and distributes other record labels, including Big Dada, Brainfeeder, Werkdiscs, Motion Audio and Counter Records. The label is also one of the radio stations in the video game Sleeping Dogs.
Inspired by a visit to Japan, Black & More (Coldcut) primarily created Ninja Tune in 1990 to act as a vehicle by which they could release music of a more underground nature, free from the restraints placed on artists by major labels (the same restraints that were put on them via their brief stints with Arista and Big Life).
In 1994, Matt Black's close friend Mixmaster Morris introduced Matt to Openmind - a DJ & design collective in Camberwell - at the Telepathic Fish chill-out club they were running. Openmind included Kevin Foakes aka Strictly Kev of DJ Food. After submitting a re-styled company logo he was employed by Ninja Tune in the capacity of overall design consultant.
Pre-dating Ninja Tune is the radio show Solid Steel, which Coldcut set up in 1988. What initially began as a radio show on then pirate Kiss FM went on to become a weekly radio podcast and also the name of live nightclub events showcasing the talents of a number of Ninja Tune artists. Solid Steel is also the name of a series of DJ mix CDs from the label.
In 2010, Ninja Tune celebrated 20 years of releasing music. A book entitled Ninja Tune: 20 Years of Beats and Pieces was released on 12 August 2010, and an exhibition was held at Black Dog Publishing's Black Dog Space in London showcasing artwork, design and photography from the label's 20 year history. A compilation album was released on 20 September in two formats - a regular version consisting of two 2-disc volumes, and a limited edition (of 3,500 copies), containing six CDs, six 7" vinyl singles, a hardback copy of the book, a poster and additional items.
Current roster (Ninja Tune)
Hip Hop label Big Dada was set up by journalist and writer Will Ashon in 1997. Artists with releases on this label include Roots Manuva, cLOUDDEAD, Juice Aleem, DELS, Wiley, Speech Debelle and Spank Rock.
See main article on Big Dada.
In 2006, Counter Records was set up to release the music by artists following a more rock music vein. The label's first release was (Super Numeri member) Pop Levi's single "Blue Honey" in September 2006, and was followed by Pop Levi's debut album The Return To Form Black Magick Party in February 2007. Subsequent artists to have releases on the label include Ape School, Cougar, cross-genre punk band The Death Set and The Heavy.
- Grey Reverend
- Lou Rhodes
Brainfeeder is an independent record label based in Los Angeles, California, founded by Warp Records recording artist Flying Lotus in 2008, focusing on electronic music and instrumental hip hop amongst other styles of music.
In 2008 Mr. Scruff launched his own new imprint, Ninja Tuna. The first release was Donkey Ride, a collaboration with Quantic, released in May 2008. This was followed by his 4th studio album, also entitled Ninja Tuna, and several further 12" singles to date.
Ninja Tune's first sister imprint was Ntone, a label that initially specialised in avant-garde music. The label released records from 1994 to 2001. Artists on the roster included Animals on Wheels, Cabbageboy, Hexstatic and Neotropic.
Ninja Tune compilations
|July 1993||The Original Sampler||BS001|
|March 1995||Ninja Cuts Funkjazztical Tricknology||ZENCD15|
|24 March 1996||Ninja Cuts Flexistentialism||ZENCD22|
|February 1997||ColdKrushCuts - Mixed by Coldcut / DJ Food & DJ Krush||ZENCD26|
|28 April 1998||Ninja Cuts Funkungfusion||ZENCD33|
|1999||Zentonedada (sampler from Ninja Tune, Ntone & Big Dada)||ZENTONEDADA 001|
|September 2000||Xen Cuts / Xen Cuts Missed Flipped and Skipped||ZENCD49, ZENCD49X|
|31 October 2000||Solesides Greatest Bumps|
|August 2002||Urban Renewal Program||ZENCD72|
|August 2002||Zentertainment 2002||ZEN2002|
|2003||ZENtvDVD - Video Retrospective - DVD containing 2 hours of Ninja Tune videos||ZENDV85|
|January 2004||ZEN CD - A Ninja Tune Retrospective||ZENCD85|
|January 2004||ZEN RMX - A Retrospective of Ninja Tune Remixes||ZENCD85R|
|March 2004||Zentertainment 2004||ZEN2004|
|July 2006||Zentertainment 2006||ZENCD2006|
|March 2008||You Don't Know: Ninja Cuts|
|September 2010||Ninja Tune XX - Vols 1 & 2|
- IMO Records (2011-11-01). "Ninja Tune Biography - The IMO Records Blog". Imorecords.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-03.
- Joseph Morpurgo (2012-05-08). "Panic, panic, panic: the Ninja Tune story – FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music.". factmag.com. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
- "FEATURE: Ninja Tune 20 Years Of Beats 'n' Pieces - Ninja Tune - ripitup.co.nz". ripitup.co.nz. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
- "Ninja Tune XX: Coldcut interview, part 1 – Beatport News". News.beatport.com. 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- [dead link]
- "Ninja Tune - Artists". Ninjatune.net. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- David Pescovitz (1 July 2011). "Brainfeeder’s "beat music" scene". boingboing.net.
- Official site
- Ninja Tune discography at Discogs
- Ping Pong Promotion agency of Ninja Tune in France.
- Ninja Tune Feature in Rip It Up Magazine
- Discography & Review at Djouls.com (Fr)
- Reviews by BBC