A brilliant blend of classic Ninja Tune tracks and masterful scratching brought to you by DJ Kentaro! (audio)
So earlier today, I saw that DJ Kentaro had posted a new mix from his latest Basscamp outing. That mix is fine (I’ll post it down below) but when I was scrolling through Kentaro’s Soundcloud, I discovered that this mix had been posted and decided now was as good as any time to post one of my all time favorite DJ mixes! Enter DJ Kentaro’s romp through Ninja Tune’s back catalogue entitled On The Wheels of Solid Steel, released back in 2005. It’s hardly a comprehensive mix (but with a back catalogue as expansive as Ninja Tune’s was at the time, that would be damn near impossible without it being 9 or so hours long), but it sure is damn fun.
Kentaro starts off with an impressive intro routine which then kicks into high gear with some Ninja Tune’s “drill n’ bass” tracks (a term cooked up to describe Aphex Twin and Squarepusher-style drum n’ bass/jungle), before switching tempos and going into straight hip-hop and “trip-hop” (remember that) and breaks. As quick dip in the water to get a feel for Ninja Tune’s output, it doesn’t get much more fun than this. It should also be mention thought the mix, Kentaro throws in tons of added sound effects, scratches, and beat juggles that amazingly never break the flow of the mix (something that would make him one of my favorite DJs at the time).
So this new mix from Kentaro is kinda of indicative of Ninja Tune as well as the Japanese DJ himself: both have moved on from this sound. I don’t pine for the old days, as I think it’s important not add to the conversation that “music was SOOO much better back in the day”. Rather I think this is a great little time capsule for both the artist and the label. If you’ve an hour to kill, I highly recommend checking this out.
Oh, and the new mix isn’t bad either.
Check out some live footage from the Ninja Tune Solid Steel Show in Japan to see more of Kentaro amazing DJ skills!