Ninja Tune is an English independent record label based in London. It has a satellite office in Los Angeles. It was founded by Matt Black and Jonathan More (better known as Coldcut) and managed by Peter Quicke and others.
Inspired by a visit to Japan, Black and More created Ninja Tune in 1990 as a means to escape the creative control of major labels, and as a vehicle to release music of a more underground nature,[full citation needed] free from the constraints they experienced in their brief stints with Arista and Big Life. The label has been called "visionary" and "reliably excellent". It has signed a diverse range of artists, has created its own publishing company, Just Isn't Music, and finds innovative uses of software.
The label's first releases — the first five volumes of DJ Food's Jazz Brakes — were produced by Coldcut in the early 1990s, and were celebrated by the music press and beat aficionados. They were composed of instrumental sample-based cuts that led the duo to help pioneer new instrumental hip hop beats genres (alongside the Mo'Wax label and Ninja Tune artists such as Funki Porcini, The Herbaliser and DJ Vadim) and, to this day, are recognized as being indispensable tools for DJs.
The label has since released music of many artists (including The Cinematic Orchestra, Amon Tobin, Bonobo, Kelis, BICEP, The Bug, Machinedrum, Lee Bannon) and distributes for other record labels – including Big Dada, Brainfeeder (Flying Lotus' label) and Technicolour Records.
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