1. Butterfly Crab Walk
2. Chin Up
3. Duppy Writer (Skit)
4. Worlâ€™ A Mine
5. Big Tings Redone
6. Jah Warriors
7. Proper Tings Juggled
8. Dutty Rut
9. Dub Decay
10. Lick Up Ya Foot
12. Son of Bodda
13. Motion 82
Fire up the barbecue, crack a Dragon Stout, mix up yer Guinness punch, carry out whatever cliched act of Caribbeanism you can think of, because itâ€™s summer at last and a new Roots Manuva album is here! And with artwork from the legendary Tony McDermott (who was responsible for the illustrations on Greensleeves classics by the likes of Scientist, Mad Professor and the famous â€œCarnival of Reggaeâ€ 12â€ sleeve) itâ€™s a thing of beauty.
Okay, letâ€™s clarify that â€˜newâ€™ a little. What you hold in your hands is in fact largely a series of re-works by a talented producer who, for reasons best known to himself, goes by the moniker Wrong Tom. Big Dada first came across Wrong Tom a few months before the releaase of Roots Manuvaâ€™s album, â€œSlime & Reasonâ€. The DJ and producer (whose previous credits includes work for Lynval Goldingâ€™s Pama International, Trojan Records and his Staines homeboys Hard Fi) got in touch asking if he could bash out a dub version of the lead single for that campaign, â€œBuff Nuffâ€. As it wasnâ€™t costing and weâ€™re cheap like that we said he could have a go on spec. When we heard the result we immediately commissioned a series of mixes which, turned round in about a fortnight, became the bonus disc for the limited edition version of â€œSlime & Reasonâ€. The responses we received were pretty ecstatic so we asked Tom if he would be up for expanding the work into a full album.
Two years on and Tom, with moral support from Mr Manuva, has turned in an album which covers all four of Roots Manuvaâ€™s main albums, plus tracks from â€œDub Come Save Meâ€ and â€œAlternately Deepâ€ and a brand new collaboration with Mr Manuva and Ricky Ranking on lead single â€œJah Warriorsâ€. Tom decided to re-imagine each track as if his re-work was in fact the orignal version of the tune from a previous decade. Hence â€œMotion 5000â€ becomes classic roots groove â€œMotion â€™82,â€ whereas something like â€œRebuffâ€ sees â€œBuff Nuffâ€ return as vintage digi-dub. The project is approached with such conviction and skill that many of the tunes become hard to place in their orignal context, so it really does feel as if these funky, skanking, shuffling little numbers are in fact the ground zero of the Manuva experience.
And while this album is, in effect, a bit of summer fun to keep us all satisfied until Roots comes through with a whole new batch of material, the re-works are so well done, and lock so tight with Rodneyâ€™s vox that they actually achieve more than anyone could hope for. Often when people are dealing with Mr Rodney Smith theyâ€™re so concerned with his ground-breaking productions, his convoluted back story and his Genuine UK Maverick status that itâ€™s easy to forget just what a good MC he is, how clever with words, how funny and insightful, how relaxed and easy and plain beautiful he sounds on the beat. Itâ€™s all here, one of the best UK lyricists and voices of the last decade as youâ€™ve never quite heard him before, but probably secretly always wanted to. Sit back and enjoy while the sun still shinesâ€¦
The Ninja Tune XX box set contains the following material which is 100% exclusive to the set and unavailable anywhere else in the world:
- 2 x CDs + 6 x 7"s featuring new tracks from Mr Scruff, Toddla T, Kid Koala, Wagon Christ, Jaga Jazzist, King Geedorah, DJ Food, Kyle Hall, The Heavy, The Qemists, King Cannibal, Blockhead and unreleased archive tracks from The Cinematic Orchestra and Roots Manuva AND new remixes from Modeselektor, Cut Chemist, Zomby, Scuba, Dorian Concept, EL-P, The Bug, King Jammy, Matthew Herbert, Rustie, Prefuse 73, cLOUDDEAD, 808 State, The Orb, Tom Middleton, Gold Panda, JME, Alix Perez, Joe Goddard (Hot Chip), Doomed (Richard Russell) and Roots Manuva. See tracklists below.
Ninja Tune box set
- Membership of Ninja Tune VIP, which entitles you straightaway to two FREE 12"s (delivered to your door) which are not for sale and unavailable to non-VIP members containing unreleased tracks (tracklists below) and access to a free download of King Cannibal's landmark mix album 'The Way Of The Ninja' featuring over 250 Ninja Tune tracks. Membership also entitles you to free music and promotional goodness in the future and early bird prices on new releases, gig tickets, merch and all sorts of other Ninja-related stuff.
- Hardback edition of the new Ninja Tune book - 'Ninja Tune - 20 Years Of Beats & Pieces' (Black Dog Publishing, 192 pages)
The box set also contains all the Ninja Tune XX CD releases that are available to the general public:
- Two double CD compilations 'Ninja Tune XX Vol.1 Two Decades and a Mixer' and 'Ninja Tune XX Vol.2 20 yrs of Beats and Pieces' featuring mostly new and all killer music from Amon Tobin, Roots Manuva, Toddla T, Mr Scruff, Dorian Concept, Daedelus, Zomby, The Bug, Floating Points Ensemble, Eskmo, Lorn, Fink, Shuttle, Bonobo, Andreya Triana and more. Remixes from Benga, Seiji, Autechre, Flying Lotus, Four Tet, Mark Pritchard, The Cinematic Orchestra, Micachu, Diplo, Daedelus, Joker, Rustie, Metronomy, Dan Le Sac, Todd Edwards, Hot Chip, Gaslamp Killer Mala, (the) King Jammy and Slugabed.
At last count that is 106 tracks in the box set, all housed in limited edition hi-spec packaging designed and conceived by Ninja artwork legend Openmind.