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Ninja Tune Compilation
"Zentertainment 2004"
by: Zero Sharp

In a preview of what is to come on the Ninja Tune label, "Zentertainment 2004" features the new signings and new releases upcoming on the label. In the style of the label, many of the songs here are solidly based in jazz and funk breakbeat styles, and the twists and creative sample use that ninja tune is known for are all here. The CD starts a bit slowly and stand, and the first one I really found myself noticing was "Don't Fall" by Diplo. The well-tempered, easy beats rock smoothly into the melodies, and it makes the song stand out among the crowd. "Insomnia Olympics" by Blockhead is a wonderful lazy jazzy hip-hop styled track based on trumpets playing "Fanfare" carelessly in the background. Part way into the track, the melody is taken up by something that I couldn't tell if it was processed electric guitar or actual voice. The piano provides a good base for the rest of the sounds, which sound as if they may melt if not braced. cLOUDDEAD's "Rifle Eyes" draws attention, if not just for its oddness. It features rather sped vocals over very slowed beats, giving the song a distorted sense of urgency. The next song, "Day," by Jaga Jazzist, does the opposite; the beats feel urgent while the jazz strewn across the top of the track seems almost careless. Wagon Christ's offering sounds like a cross between elevator moog music, a video game, and old school breakbeat hardcore. The styling is good, and the song is campy, but fun, as Wagon Christ has shown himself to be time and time again. Sixtoo has the most intense track on the album. Dirtier samples help add an almost sinister and uneasy air to the ten minute walk through the land of hip-hop. All in all, the album is a rather mixed bag of quality, although the good tracks, which constitute about half of the listen do make the album worth it. At the very least, this will tide you over until some of these releases come out.



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