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Various Artists You Don’t Know: Ninja Cuts

The stylistic vastness on the Ninja Tune discography is dumbfounding. As heard on this three-disc compilation, the British label and its affiliated imprints Big Dada and Counter have produced pioneering artists in just about every form of electronic-based music, whether it’s downtempo, drum & bass, or some unclassifiable hybrid. Of the 49 selections featured here, the quality control is pretty impressive. If there’s one thing that connects tracks as different as, say, Mike Ladd’s wild-style hip-hop number “Blah Blah” and Amon Tobin’s intricate instrumental “Bloodstone,” it’s the forward-looking mentality behind each. Granted, by the end of Disc Three, some of the more bizarre and considerably less exciting material (i.e. Fog’s “Melted Crayons”) kills the pulse found on the rest of the compilation. Just stick to the first two-and-a-half discs and you’ll be treated to a collection of some of the best modern music around.

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