Ninja Tune XX presents King Cannibal 'The Way Of The Ninja'
A fearful, uncomfortable but admiring and heartfelt round of applause, please, for Ninja Tune's first (only?) hard man - King Cannibal aka Zilla aka Dylan Richards. Coming through with a razor-edged, utterly uncompromising industrial mash-up of sounds and rhythms from dancehall and drum & bass, Radio 1's Mary-Anne Hobbs has already declared his music to be "too dark!". And that was before she had heard 'Let The Night Roar', a record so obsessed with violence in its many manifestations that he named it after a quote from nutter-cultist Jim Jones (that's the man behind the Jonestown Massacre).
Up until a couple of years ago, Zilla was best known for a series of remarkable mix tapes, including 'A Friendly Game of Chess' (w/ Buddy Peace), 'One Foot In The Fire, One Fist In The Air' and compiling 'Watch And Repeat Play' for Warp Records (again with Buddy Peace). But King Cannibal was born when Richards began experimenting with using the sonic palette of drum & bass over dancehall rhythms. The track he made was 'Aragami Style'. Not for nothing has Amon Tobin described it as "A great tune...put together like a DJ's wet dream."
Richards used this as the leap-off point for the album which would become 'Let The Night Roar'. As he puts it, "This album is really about me laying out the core elements to the 'brual deluxe' sound of King Cannibal. For this project it was all about establishing what makes a King Cannibal track and working to get those ingredients right and how they translate through genre and mood switches."
"I never really meant to make music with a theme," Richards offers, "but at the half way point it really became clear that it had built its own regardless of what i was consciously thinking. It is quite obviously, sonically speaking, a violent piece of work, but where as most albums who tackle this subject fall back on its links with horror films I've really tried to make this about real life happening outside of our windows, in our backyards and in our small lives. We get trapped into thinking a certain way, doing things we don't want to do just so we can live to postpone our ambition another day. Its about cutting through these things with a positive violence and letting 'the night roar', for the night is when we finally get to do the things we really want to."
Tension and release, exhilaration and fear, sex and violence, all the elements of great music are here. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Let The Night Roar
CD + MP3 (ZENCD151)