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Xen Cuts
Various Artists - Dance & DJ - Techno
Xen Cuts
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (25) - Disc #3

Released as a tribute to the fact that Coldcut's legendary Ninja Tune imprint had been releasing records for a decade, this collection showcases the label's rich array of artists. Though assembled in the same spirit as the...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists - Dance & DJ - Techno
Title: Xen Cuts
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Ninja Tune
Original Release Date: 10/3/2000
Release Date: 10/3/2000
Album Type: Box set
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
Styles: Ambient, Drum & Bass, Electronica, Turntablists, Big Beat, Trip-Hop, IDM, Techno, Acid Jazz, Experimental Music, Dance Pop
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaCD Credits: 3
UPCs: 625978104927, 5021392225289

Released as a tribute to the fact that Coldcut's legendary Ninja Tune imprint had been releasing records for a decade, this collection showcases the label's rich array of artists. Though assembled in the same spirit as the seminal Ninja Cuts series, comprising a mixture of back catalog and material exclusive to the compilation, a crafty alteration of the title acts as a nod to the 10 years since Bogus Order's "Zen Brakes" first fought its way onto a turntable. From the Steinski intro, the track listing of the first of two compact discs has a distinct hip-hop leaning. It slinks through lyrical activity from the likes of the Dynamic Syncopation before flipping a skit from Roots Manuva over Amon Tobin's "Saboteur" and dropping down to the sultry vocals of Sarah Jones, which parallel the Gil Scott-Heron standard in their declaration that the "revolution will not be between these thighs." Flip to the second disc for a demonstration of Ninja's recent foray into cinematic funk, whether through the raging percussion of Chris Bowden or breathtaking orchestration of Clifford Gilberto's "Restless," the resultant experience is nothing if not widescreen. Settle down and reset your ears for two hours of cross-dressing, genre-bending bliss from one of the U.K.'s most innovative record labels. --Kingsley Marshall

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CD Reviews

Don't drink from the mainstream
brothernumber1 | Auckland, New Zealand. | 10/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"All I can do is agree with the other reviews -- BUY THIS! It serves as a great overview of the ninja label, if you haven't heard much of their stuff before, but contains lots of new tracks and brilliance for even the most experienced ninja.The first CD starts off with the intro cutups, then moves into a mostly hiphop mode. The highlights for me here include Roots Manuvas insane mix of Amon Tobin, the brilliant Dj Vadim and Kid Koala tracks, and Up,Bustle & Outs "Hip Hop Barrio". A fantastic exception that stands out is Luke Viberts "I Hear the Drummer".The second CD moves onto some mainly jazzy business. The Clifford Gilberto track is funky filmic soundtrack business, and Amon Tobin contributes a great track. Later come the amazing fried up beats of Flanger, before Funki Porcini and others finish the disc in a swirl of ambient orchestration.The third CD (subtitled "missed, flipped and skipped), is raritys and remixes as the title suggests. This disc is also killer, with Mr Scruff and Dj Food contributing some awesome sounds, and the insanity of Squarepushers mix of East Flatbush Project's "Tried By 12". The disc finishes with more jazzy sounds, but the real highlight here for me is Kid Koala's "Drunk Trumpet", where a trumpet sample is munted and mutated by the kid over a jazzy piano loop. Absolutely insane, and brilliant with it. To sum up, if you are even the slightest bit into the hiphop / jazz insanity that the ninjas do so well, then you need this like you need food and air. Sell your own mother if you have to."
Everything Xen
littleoldme | Fort Collins, CO United States | 08/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"So Ninja Tune decides to release a huge, mega-compilation (3 CDs, 46 tracks) ... I then decided to take a chance (going simply on the label's reputation and a few tracks I'd heard). And I'm glad I did. There's so much here, and the amazing part is how much of it is outstanding.Disc One concentrates on hip-hop. The general theme here is decent MCs dropping above-average lyrics over phenomenal beats. It's probably the most consistently high-quality disc here.Standouts: Amon Tobin - "Saboteur"; Big Dada Sound - "Showtime"; Kid Koala - "Emperor's Main Course"; Luke Vibert - "I Hear The Drummmer"; Up, Bustle & Out - "Hip Hop Barrio"Disc Two emphasizes the more chilled, jazzy, trip-hop stuff. There are some moments that don't work (Loka, Animals on Wheels, Flanger) because of off-tempo programming, but the vast majority of the disc is excellent.Standouts: both Clifford Gilberto tracks, Funki Porcini, Amon Tobin, Up, Bustle & OutDisc Three is less cohesive as a single unit, but is equally fun. The winners here (out of a huge batch of winners) are Saul Williams, DJ Vadim, DJ Food, and Roots Manuva.All in all, a great compilation of innovative hip-hop/techno/trip-hop. The only drawback is there's so much here it may be overwhelming!"
Nirvana attained.
C. G. | Atlanta, GA | 11/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ahhh...Ninja Tune...purveyors of atmospheric beats, mad samples, and numerous flavors of abstraction. The Ninja crew has had a major hand in redefining conventional views of hip-hop and jazz, and with Xen Cuts they prove that they are once again without peer. This diverse collection beautifully displays all aspects of the genre-bending Ninja sound, all in the space of about two hours...and there is very little redundancy to be found here. Even hardcore Ninjas will be hard-pressed to find many of these tracks already in their collection. There are some new/exclusive tunes here, but most seem to have been purloined from the massive Ninja backcatalogue of now-OOP singles and LPs, which is fortunate for both the many who haven't yet been exposed to Ninja Tune, and for the completists whose palates are in desperate need of satiation. In addition, the included booklet is well-assembled, and features an extensive, often humorous history of the label, album cover-adorned pages, and a complete discography of every artist on the Ninja Tune, N-Tone, and Big Dada labels. I was hoping for some mention of Ninja's occassional partners-in-stealth, Shadow Records; however, this is a minor omission. The Cuts are broken up into three discs: Disc 1 is mostly hip-hop/MC oriented, Disc 2 embraces the jazzier, more instrumental side of Ninja, and Disc 3 features a mix of unreleased mixes and rare tracks (by the way, track 15 is not credited on the packaging). The highlights of this release? Well, there are 47 of them, so take your pick. Do not hesitate, young grasshopper..."