Mr. Scruff – Ninja Tuna

Tickling you with its funk-filled soundscape, this album is in a league of its own. Ever since Mr. Scruff’s massive hit ‘Get a Move On’, his career has gone from strength to strength; the song even being used in commercials for France Telecom, Lincoln and Volvo cars.


Ninja Tuna - Mr. Scruff

Musically, the sound he gets from Moog synthesizers and programming is unreal; sublime chord progressions the likes of Monk and even Hancock would be proud of. He samples real sound like rhythmic footsteps and further overuse of percussive timbre mimicking the world around you and your iPod.

It relates to real life and the sounds you might hear everyday walking down the street; you won’t be able to put your finger on it though, in terms of genre. One time you’ll think, ‘alright, this is definitely hip-hop of some sort’ and then all of a sudden this South American rhythm hits you hard, like in Kalimba. It will catch you off guard since all of the tracks seem to merge into one another.

The sleeve of the record is made of recycled material; a cardboard hand drawn cover. It just goes to show that he does not have to big up upon himself to be heard. You see this across Scruff’s style, even in his music; reusing a few samples from past records. A few Foxfire records and even excerpts from Dancin’ Fever.

I can’t help but think that the independence of this record, creatively and from the label’s point of view, is a plus. You certainly wouldn’t think the likes of EMI or Sony BMG would pick up on this, Thank God! ‘No creative control mate sorry, the masses won’t want to hear this. We want 4/4 time with a bit of a bluesy feel thrown in…’ Niche…

I played this to my Dad the other night, sneakily playing it after a vinyl-stint of Head Hunters and he couldn’t relate; ‘Is this Dr. John, with a turntable… and a Hammond?!’ It’s so subjective, I honestly don’t think that anyone will dislike all the songs on here, it’s a safe bet. Even in an entertainment sense; ‘Pop on Dave Brubeck Harry…’ ‘How about Ninja Tuna instead?!

It’s so varied, easy going but at the same time giving your neighbours a headache with your tapping foot coming through their ceiling. There isn’t a bad song on this album.

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