Ninja Tune celebrates 25 years with LA and London takeovers
For the last 25 years, Ninja Tune has ushered in some of the finest left-field electronic music around. Originally devised by Jon More and Matt Black of Coldcut as an outlet for independent artistry, the label has grown to be one of the defining tastemakers of the last two decades.
It was Ninja Tune, for instance, who discovered Amon Tobin in 1996, many years before the Brazilian musician would craft his audiovisual spectacle, ISAM. It was Ninja Tune who helped break Bonobo onto the scene in 2001, well before he would make his industry-wide splash with 2010’s Black Sands. We could go on, but really this is just scratching the surface. Ninja Tune’s catalogue spans everyone from The Cinematic Orchestra to Machinedrum, to more obscure talents like experimental jazz band Jaga Jazzist or UK multi-instrumentalist The Bug. Far and away, the label has always had their pulse on the visionaries of tomorrow, empowering these individuals to explore the furthest nooks of their creativity.
To commemorate their momentous 25 year anniversary, Ninja Tune has been curating some international takeovers. On November 21 for example, the label hosted an LA takeover with Bonobo, Jon Hopkins, Leon Vynehall and Sepalcure – just about as tantalizing of a one-night lineup as you could ask from the imprint. Taking place at the Globe Theater in Downtown, Ninja Tune brought in a full Funktion-One rig – not to mention custom visuals from the insanely talented Strangeloop. The crowd was so engrossed in the visual backdrop, for instance, that at one point during Bonobo’s set, the audience cheered in unison as a large, mythic man-eagle jumped off a building before transforming into full bird mid-flight. It was this kind of quirky, psychedelic phenomena that became a hallmark of the night – both in the music performed and the visuak art displayed. To top it off, Ninja Tune provided a last-minute afterhours show at a nearby warehouse with Kastle on deck.
The anniversary celebrations continue in Los Angeles next weekend on December 11 at the Masonic Lounge with The Bug feat. Earth & Liz Harris of Grouper and William Basinski. Meanwhile, Corsica Studios in London will play host to Romare, Max Graef, HNNY, Flako and more on December 12.