Welcome to ZenTV. Since the mid-nineties and the groundbreaking Stealth parties at the Blue Note in Hoxton Square, Ninja has been almost as well respected for its engagement with visuals as it has for its audio. The two came together on this massive retrospective of almost a decade of experimentation, innovation, humour and weirdness. Let’s get the spec out of the way first. The ZenTV DVD has twice the capacity of a normal DVD, containing as it does 35 promo videos from the label, a fifteen minute audiovisual mix and a 30 minutes audio mix from Hexstatic. And as if that wasn’t enough, the DVD has a menu system which means you can watch the videos either in the order we intended, randomly, or chronologically from the oldest to the newest or the newest to the oldest. You can also look up any specific act and check out their videos and album art. Or just leave a gallery of some of Ninja’s finest covers running in the corner of the room as a kind of ambient art installation dahlink… Mwah.
The 80s was the decade of the 12 inch. In the UK, all previous instalments of this series sold extremely well and received widespread critical acclaim. The Guardian called the series a "genuine act of music archaeology". From the pop dance genius of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax and Donna Summer's I Feel Love through to the more alternative Lullaby by The Cure, and onto classics such as Teardrops by Womack & Womack… This 3CD compilation has it all, in its full 12" glory.
Granted, the four separate versions of Viva! La Woman's sublime "Sugar Water" are unnecessary, but the rest of the material on Cibo Matto's follow-up EP Super Relax is superb. No longer relying solely on Yuka Honda's slice-and-dice samples, the duo's sound is considerably more organic this time out; "Spoon" locks into an infectious groove worthy of Luscious Jackson, while the live "BBQ" is breathlessly manic. The highlights, however, are the two covers: the first, a rendition of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Aguas de Marco" (also found on the benefit LP Red Hot and Latin) opens up a vast new global playground of exotic textures and rhythms for the group to romp around in, while their exemplary take on the Stones' "Sing This All Together" proves Honda and vocalist Miho Hatori are equally capable of tackling straightforward rock and roll.
Late Night Sessions is cool, sophisticated compilation, ideal for chilling out at home with friends or the perfect album to create those cosy and laid-back late night bar vibes. A smooth, relaxing and quirky tracklisting, bringing together credible tracks by well known artists in this genre. Late Night Sessions is a musically strong album and features huge album selling artists such as Hurts, Hot Chip, Simian Mobile Disco, The Cinematic Orchestra and Moby alongside more underground gems like Caribou, Maya Jane Coles, Hercules & Love Affair and…