King Cannibal: The Way of the Ninja

King Cannibal: The Way of the Ninja
Ninja Tunes has been releasing music that pushes the boundaries of dance and electronic music for 20 years. Their latest release is no different. King Cannibal‘s The Way of the Ninja is being marketed as a new breed of mix CD. The 20 track album is made up of 256 songs and samples from Ninja Tunes’ catalog as the label continues celebrating their 20 year anniversary.
When hearing the concept of this album the first thing that popped into my head was an interview I read with Gregg Gillis. In the interview he said that he had been approached by record labels who wanted him to remix their catalogs but Gillis said he always turned them down because he did not want to limit his pool of source material. Essentially, what King Cannibal is making is a Girl Talk record specifically pulled from Ninja Tunes catalogs. The catalogs may be expansive but it still severely limits his possibilities.
Much of The Way of the Ninja is based around mash-ups that combine the vocals of Ninja Tunes’ grime and hip hop artists over the beats of their electronic artists. “The Soundboy and the Terrorist” features the acapella from DJ Vadim featuring Moshun Man‘s “The Terrorist” over Thunderheist “LBG” instrumental. “Let’s Get Tight” features Spank Rock‘s “Rick Ruben” acapella over Coldcut & Hexstatic‘s “Timber”.
Although these more traditional mash-ups stand out, King Cannibal also uses techniques similar to those employed by The Avalanches‘ on Since I Met You. He layers sounds, spoken word, and ambient noise to create a lush soundscape that is indistinct and dream-like. Tracks like “Darkness Creeps But The Nightime Crawls” has elements of dubstep beats with ambient trance vocals that create a drug-like peak experience.
Although I’m sure the album will be most interesting to huge Ninja Tunes fans who can pick out individual samples, the album has some benefits for those who are relatively new to the party. The sampling and flow of the album is fairly flawless with the diversity in genres and track types able to keep even the most fickle listener’s interest. The Way of the Ninja may be the best way to celebrate 20 years of Ninja Tunes I have heard yet.
Rating: 7.7/10
MP3: King Cannibal “Let’s Get Tight”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!