Blog Archives

Sofia Kourtesis feat. Manu Chao – Estación Esperanza

‘Estación Esperanza’, out now on Ninja Tune: https://sofiakourtesis.lnk.to/estaYo

Speaking of the track Kourtesis says:
“‘Estación Esperanza’ is all about hope. I’m hopeful my mother will get better, I’m hopeful the world will begin to heal, I’m hopeful this song will bring you light on dark days. I first wrote this song after listening to Manu Chao. To me Manu Chao has always represented hope, his lyrics were like a bible to me growing up. This song is for him, my mother and all those activists working hard to make this world better.. never lose hope!”

Video: Ross From Friends – Love Divide

Today Ross From Friends (Felix Clary Weatherall) shares the official video for ‘Love Divide’ directed by Scottish filmmaker Bryan M. Ferguson, celebrated for his ability to juxtapose the uncanny and the surreal. ‘Love Divide’–from the British artist’s new album “Tread”–bears all the hallmarks of a future Ross From Friends classic: brilliantly refracting and subverting big room euphoria and remodelling it in his singular production style. The result is a sleek four-to-the-floor bullet that is already a fan favourite judging by the reactions from recent live sets. 

“The first time I heard the track it really made me feel nostalgic for a time when I’d been a teenager hopping the music channels in the early hours. It evoked that insomniac, after hours vibe for me – which lends itself to warranting a strange visual component,” explains Bryan. “The song has this sound that’s completely dream-like and fun but at times forlorn, so with the video I wanted to try and capture that same feeling by making something that doesn’t take itself too seriously and blends melancholy with surrealism.” 

Bonobo – Otomo feat. O’Flynn

Musician, producer and DJ Bonobo (aka Simon Green) has today shared another new preview of his forthcoming album ‘Fragments’ (January 14th).  Listen to ‘Otomo’ featuring O’Flynn here.

‘Otomo’ is a dynamic single and builds to one of the hardest and most hip-shaking grooves that Green has ever put on tape.  It was created by Green in his Los Angeles studio as the US was opening up from lockdown and captures that “light at the end of the tunnel” sense of return. O’Flynn co-produced the single, turning Green’s sample of a Bulgarian choir – called 100 Kaba-Gaidi – into a dramatic breakdown and beat drop. The process of the song coming together also helped to remind Green of the sense of dancefloor abandon and surging crowds that he had so crucially missed. 

Green said on the release:
“‘Otomo’ began with a sample of a Bulgarian choir. Melodically it was working well but needed a dynamic shift. I asked my friend O’Fllynn for input. He sent it back with a dance floor ready drum section. It’s one of my favorites from the album. I’ve been playing it all year in my dj sets, there’s already a huge response and a feeling of immediate familiarity”

O’Flynn said of the release:
“Simon messaged me last year with a track he was working on and asked for some feedback. I took a punt and asked for the stems to try some ideas on. The tune had this big choir sample and chords in – I went to work trying to contrast that choir with something much harder to try and change the context, using the choir and chords as this kind of relief to this big percussive 808 drop. Luckily Simon liked what I did and we developed the tune from there. 

To be approached by Simon for feedback in the first place caught me off guard. He has delivered some of my favourite music over the years and was one of my main influences growing up – but I just had to immediately push that to one side and get to work. I knew it was one thing to be asked for feedback, but to be part of the track would just be very special. So I had this driving force and pressure to come up with something that could take the idea in a new direction and hit the high bar Simon sets with all his productions.”

“Fragments” also features JojiKadhja BonetJordan Rakei and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Born first out of fragments of ideas and experimentation, the album ultimately was fused together in a burst of creativity fuelled by both collaboration and Green’s escape into the wild. 

Bonobo’s set to embark on a world tour in 2022, headlining three nights at Royal Albert Hall on top of other UK dates in May.

Video: Bonobo – Rosewood

Bonobo has announced “Fragments”, a new album that will be released 14th January, 2022 (Ninja Tune), along with a 2022 world tour.  Along with the announcement, Bonobo has also shared the lead single ‘Rosewood’“Fragments” is the most emotionally intense record that he – aka Simon Green – has ever had to make.  It’s no surprise that it’s also his masterpiece. The album features Jamila WoodsJojiKadhja BonetJordan RakeiO’Flynn and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson.  Born first out of fragments of ideas and experimentation, the album ultimately was fused together in a burst of creativity fuelled by both collaboration and Green’s escape into the wild. The artwork for ‘Fragments” is by Neil Krug who returns after creating the art for 2017’s “Migration”. Krug has also made a visualiser for ‘Rosewood’.

“Fragments” is a series of 12 sonic affirmations, featuring some of the hardest and most hip-shaking grooves that Green has ever created.  The ballads are perfectly placed throughout; they capture a world in flux and glow with hope.  Coaxing the ideas out initially took some hard work.  The constantly-touring Green creates best while on the move; the global shutdown forced him to stand still. 

Musical themes began to arise through Green’s exploration of modular synthesis, recordings he had made of harpist Lara Somogyi, his work with arranger and string player Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, his own playing of the Fender Rhodes and more, as the album was created, recorded and mixed by Green over the past two years.  The album also came into focus as he sought refuge on solo adventures into nature, away from the shutdowns and wild fires and into the blazing California desert. 

‘Tides’ featuring Chicagoan singer and poet Jamila Woods, acted as a catalyst, and the album began to click into place around it.  “I knew I had a centrepiece, I knew how it was all going to sound,” he says.  Working with Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, musical themes began to emerge.  Recording orchestral musicians in actual studios helped bring the songs “out of the box” even more. 

A rhythmic framework started to come together too: the structures of UK bass music and rave began to seep into beats that would become tracks like ‘Otomo’ (eventually co-produced by O’Flynn and featuring a sample of the Bulgarian choir 100 Kaba-Gaidi), and ‘Sapien’.  The ”old school, Detroity, Moodymann and Theo Parrish inspired” ‘Shadows’ was recorded with friend Jordan Rakei ‘Rosewood’, ‘Closer’ and ‘Counterpart’ each start with an ecstatic snap to them, but snake down surprisingly different paths. Somogyi’s harp and Atwood-Ferguson’s strings mingle together on the beatless ‘Elysian’.  Two ballads flesh out the second half of the record: ‘Day by Day’ featuring Kadhja Bonet and ‘From You’ featuring Joji

It’s about the dancefloor in many ways, about how “I remembered all over again how much I loved crowds and movement and people connecting with each other,” Green reflects.  But the positivity isn’t just in the uptempo rhythms: even the most introspective and melancholic pieces have joy in them.

Kadhja Bonet – For You

LA-based singer and multi-instrumentalist Kadhja Bonet returns with her first solo release since 2018’s acclaimed ‘Childqueen’ album, sharing the hypnotic new single ‘For You’, which arrives on her new label home: Ninja Tune.

Featuring Kadhja’s dreamy vocals layered with warm synths, ‘For You’ is a personal and heartfelt ode to creating space for yourself and “showing up for yourself in any form that may take”, she says. The track showcases her undeniable talent as a vocalist and songwriter but also hints at a new alternative direction for the artist, “I wanted to create something new for myself, not to overthink or be held onto a certain genre,” she explains.

It arrives as Kadhja’s first solo music to be released since 2018, following a run of impressive collaborations with Childish Gambino, Free Nationals, SiR and Anderson .Paak to name a few. She was most recently featured on Khruangbin’s “Mordechai Remixes” project and opened for the group at Red Rocks Amphitheater. But new single ‘For You’ finds her excited to “shift gear” and work on her own music again, arriving after an extended period of reinvention and reflection. “My forced hiatus from music has created an urgency in brand redirection,” says Kadhja. “I began making music to get to know myself and fortify connections, and in many ways, I have derailed from that intention. I reflect on my last few years as a recording artist and see someone trying desperately to fit the mold, despite making music that does not. To be pretty, to be liked, to be relevant, good, or accepted”.

‘For You’ is out now marking Kadhja Bonet’s first release for Ninja Tune, with more music coming soon.

Video: Bicep – Saku feat. Clara La San

Taken from the album ‘Isles’, released 22 January on Ninja Tune: https://bicep.lnk.to/islesYo

Bicep – Sundial

Taken from the album ‘Isles’, released 22 January on Ninja Tune: https://bicep.lnk.to/isles

Video: Bicep – Apricots

Taken from the album ‘Isles’, released 22 January on Ninja Tune: https://bicep.lnk.to/islesYo

Bonobo & Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Heartbreak [Strobe Warning]

Dinosaurs to deliver a dancefloor-driven 12” that builds on some of the foundations of electronic music, tracing a line from 1980’s NYC through to the warehouse parties of today.

Lead single “Heartbreak”—released digitally today alongside a UK rave inspired visual by Director Tom Andrew—is a breakbeat-driven ode to one of electronic music’s formative scenes: NYC’s disco revolution of the 1970’s & 80’s. Sampling Christine Wiltshire’s iconic vocal line “I can’t take the heartbreak” from the ‘83 disco anthem “Weekend” by Class Action

Having both settled in LA around 2015, the two UK artists quickly struck up a friendship. With subsequent years spent performing at each other’s gigs and exchanging demos, they finally got into the studio together to record “Heartbreak” and B-side “6000 Ft.”. “Orlando (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs) was playing me a fairly stripped back idea he had for something last year,” says Green. “We spent a few afternoons in his studio trying ideas out and eventually, ‘Heartbreak’ was the end result.” 

With the sample at its core, the track sees both artists pay their respects to one of the formative scenes in electronic music, with additional liner notes from author Tim Lawrence provided on the 12”, giving insights into the history and evolution of “Weekend” and the lasting impact it had on the electronic music of today. “Now more than ever it feels important to be putting out dance music with deliberate acknowledgment of its history.” says Orlando. “It’s great to be releasing music with Simon, not to mention the first release on his label.” 

The 12” is the first to arrive via Bonobo’s new label, OUTLIER—formed in partnership with Ninja Tune—and expands on the series of club shows and festival stage takeovers under that same banner. Launched at the iconic, though now sadly shuttered New York club Output, OUTLIER sees Bonobo playing and curating an array of nights and festivals on either side of the Atlantic which has so far included Field Day, Nuits Sonores, OFFSonar and more. The new imprint will “reflect the more club focused side of what I’m building with OUTLIER” he explains. “‘Heartbreak’ seems like a good starting point and was the track that became the catalyst to start the label. One for the dance floors in a time when they’re dearly missed.” 

Actress – Angels Pharmacy feat. Zsela

Taken from the album ‘Karma & Desire’, released 23 October on Ninja Tune: https://actress.lnk.to/karma-desireYo