Eine Kleine Hedmusik

(Coldcut @ Cargo, photo by worthwords73)

One of the albums I put on at work that didn't prompt an outburst of disgust was Coldcut's Let Us Play! I've never been quite sure where I stand on instrumental hip hop; I've always presumed it to be the domain of carefully-slovenly, beanie wearing snowboarding types. You know the sort. But Coldcut isn't really like that. For a start they're British, which tends to dispel a lot of stereotypes, but they're also serious godfathers of a movement.

Coldcut have been around since approximately forever, and have been running Ninja Tune for almost as long. The label has created an impressive roster of acts like Amon Tobin, Herbaliser, Daedelus and Roots Manuva, which although fairly diverse in themselves all have a certain vibe that keeps them related. There's actually a lot to explore in their line-up, and they're one of those labels that I've been meaning to investigate further for a long time; acts like Mr Scruff, Kid Koala, Antibalas, these have been on the edge of my radar for ages but I really couldn't tell you where to start. I'll keep you updated should I actually put the legwork in.

Anyway, where were we? Ah, Let Us Play! For all I know, it could be either the archetypal or a completely atypical Coldcut album, but let's assume it's the former: it's hip hop-based, yes, but a lot more. It has the clever turntable work that seems to characterise Ninja Tune, and the cut-and-paste approach which has been the foundation of most of their work, the exploration of rare grooves and beats. I say this like I know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I really want to post Coldcut because I've had Peter & The Wolf in my head for a while, and to me the msot famous Coldcut piece I know is More Beats And Pieces from this album. If you've ever watched Spaced, you'll know the tune, and I have to confess to being more familiar with it in it's modified form now, than in Prokofiev's original, despite the tune being the opening soundtrack to many a school assembly. Obviously it's a great tune, and only a small part of this track, but it's evidence again that you can do anything with anything these days, and if you pull it off with enough panache, you'll have a winner on your hands. So have a listen to these versions of this cut and paste manifesto, as also included is Kid Koala's fairly impressive take.

The Music
Coldcut - More Beats + Pieces (Daddy Rips It Up Mix)
Coldcut - More Beats + Pieces (Kid Koala version)

BONUS: I couldn't help but do it, the Kid Koala-starring The Gonk from... well, I take it to be Shaun Of The Dead, you might know it as the mall music from Dawn Of The Dead.

Various Artists - The Gonk

The 'fo
Artist: Coldcut
Let Us Play!
Ninja Tune
Hype Machine; elbo.ws
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