ZEN TV

Various Artists —
ZEN TV

ZENDV85

Released 26/01/2004

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.

But that just scratches the surface, really, 'cos after all, in the kingdom of the blind, content is king. Or something like that. You know the music is going to be good (we hope you know the music is going to be good), but what about the visuals?

Well, one advantage with not having hit records (Coldcut’s 'Beats & Pieces' remains our one top forty for 12 years work) is that you don’t have to worry about getting your promos shown on any of those hellholes of visual mediocrity where all the bands have to look fabulous and if they don’t, well you better make sure you put some models in there who do…instead, you can be (whisper it) creative.

Which is why some of the top up-and-coming names in video direction and animation, including established directors like Alexander Rutterford (Amon Tobin, now working for Radiohead), Sam Arthur (DJ Vadim) as well as young turks like Conkerko (Bonobo) have worked for Ninja. Because they know that if they pitch an interesting, visually striking, innovative idea, they will be left to get on with it without interference. Fizzy Eye made their first music video for Wagon Christ (the truly excellent 'Receiver') and have since gone on to do commercials for Honda, proving that a track record with Ninja doesn’t ruin your business prospects.

Beyond this, artists like Kid Koala and Jaga Jazzist often even commission their own videos, working with close associates to find the perfect match between their sound and the director’s vision. There are artists on the label who are intimately involved in the creation of their own videos, whether it’s the Scruff cartoons that make up the basis of his Cosgrove Hall-animated 'Sweet Smoke,' the pioneering audiovisual cut-ups of Hexstatic and Coldcut, Funki Porcini’s satires of adverts or his weird, otherworldly concrete moving abstracts.

Overall, since those early audiovisual mash-ups, the driving force behind all of Ninja’s visual work has been that the video is not merely an unrelated promo item to sell a single but should be intimately related to the sounds it represents. The budgets may be small, some results may be more effective than others, but there’s no denying that the attempts to realise this ideal are never less than interesting.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Ninja Tune Releases

<< Previous

Modern Streets

Beat Spacek

Collage v.1

Nick Hook

Boa / Cold

The Bug vs Earth

‘94-’14

Jaga Jazzist

Roots

Romare

Buy Tracks

1.
What Are You Looking At? (DVD video) (Funki Porcini)
(Album only)
1.
The Lighthouse (Amon Tobin)
MP3 $1.12 More
2.
Animal Chin (Jaga Jazzist)
(Album only)
2.
Ruthless (Amon Tobin)
MP3 $1.12 More
3.
Sweetsmoke (video) (Mr. Scruff)
(Album only)
3.
Theme From Battery (Amon Tobin)
MP3 $1.12 More
4.
Timber (Coldcut & Hexstatic)
(Album only)
4.
Kokubo Sosho Stealth (Amon Tobin)
MP3 $1.12 More
5.
Auto (Hexstatic)
(Album only)
5.
El Cargo (Amon Tobin)
MP3 $1.12 More
6.
Verbal (Amon Tobin)
(Album only)
6.
Displaced (Amon Tobin)
MP3 $1.12 More
7.
Pick Up (Bonobo)
(Album only)
7.
Ruthless (Reprise) (Amon Tobin)
MP3 $1.12 More
8.
The Missing Suitcase (The Herbaliser)
(Album only)
8.
Kokubo Sosho Stealth (Amon Tobin)
MP3 $1.12 More
9.
Sculpture (Skalpel)
(Album only)
9.
Hokkaido (Amon Tobin)
MP3 $1.12 More
10.
Atomic Kitchen (DVD video) (Funki Porcini)
(Album only)
10.
The Clean Up (Amon Tobin)
MP3 $1.12 More
11.
It’s On (DJ Vadim feat. Vakill)
(Album only)
12.
Insomniac Olympics (Blockhead)
(Album only)
13.
Ninja Tune (Hexstatic)
(Album only)
14.
Receiver (Wagon Christ)
(Album only)
15.
Day (Jaga Jazzist)
(Album only)
16.
DJ Set (Coldcut)
(Album only)
17.
More Beats & Pieces (Coldcut)
(Album only)
18.
Get a Move On! (video) (Mr. Scruff)
(Album only)
19.
Rockit Soul (Funki Porcini)
(Album only)
20.
4 Ton Mantis (Amon Tobin)
(Album only)
21.
Natural Rhythm (Coldcut & Hexstatic)
(Album only)
22.
Basin Street Blues (Kid Koala)
(Album only)
23.
All That You Give (The Cinematic Orchestra)
(Album only)
24.
Something Wicked (The Herbaliser)
(Album only)
25.
Pinball Number Count (DJ Food edit 2003) (Sesame Street feat. Pointer Sisters)
(Album only)
26.
Options In The Fire (Flanger)
(Album only)
27.
Never In And Never Out (Animals On Wheels)
(Album only)
28.
Sunflower Girl (Neotropic)
(Album only)
29.
Re:volution (Coldcut)
(Album only)
30.
Chicken Spit (Pest)
(Album only)
31.
Wall Crawling Giant Insect Breaks (The Herbaliser)
(Album only)
32.
Flutter (Bonobo)
(Album only)
33.
Flying Wonders (Homelife)
(Album only)
34.
Honeydew (video) (Mr. Scruff)
(Album only)
35.
Fender Bender (Kid Koala)
(Album only)
36.
Video mash-up (15 minutes) (Hexstatic)
(Album only)

46 Tracks

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