Mr. Scruff - Ninja Tuna
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That’s no typo, Scruff is now on his new label Ninja Tuna (as you know, when he’s not drinking tea, he’s drawing pies and fish) so after the release of some single “bait”, here’s the full album catch.
It’s nearly ten years since Keep It Unreal that first got Mr. Scruff into the hearts of the nation, six years since Trouser Jazz (as an aside, I was in France when this came out and they couldn’t get enough of it) and since then we’ve had the re-issue of his debut Mr. Scruff on Ninja and various compilations (Mr. Scruff’s Big Chill Classics) so it’s about time you’re thinking.
And I must admit, I’ve missed the cheeky Mr Scruff jazz wobbly funk. And it looks like his music bizz mates have too as they’ve all turned up to help out. Roots Again & Again Manuva, Tru-thoughts finest Quantic and Alice ‘Lemon’ Russell, the girl of the moment Andreya Triana, that man Pete Simpson [see more of him HERE), soul legend Phillip Mitchell and loads more.
The brand new video for “Music Takes Me Up” featuring Alice Russell can be watched right here.
The first track is like his mission statement ‘Test The Sound’, “Who wanna mess around?, Scruff rockin’ the drums” as the whole album is his usual mix of jazz-soul-funk dance floor fish and chip supper boogie; everyone loves Mr Scruff.
If you get Scruff and Will ‘Quantic’ Holland together on a Latin trip wobble, that’s a ‘Donkey Ride’ on a dancefloor tune (fans will also enjoy the curry mile of Brazil for the ‘Stockport Carnival’). Ms. Triana has just appeared on TM Juke & The Jack Baker Trio album (check out HERE and her other appearances on FLY) and ‘Hold On’ adds to her every growing reputation as a sweat soul singer.
Talking of soul, Mr. Simpson is on his usual immaculate form and funkers can just ‘Get On Down’! That one hurts so much - Scruff and Prince Phillp Mitchell we salute you. Really this is so good you’ll want to ‘Bang The Floor’ with delight (classic Scruff bass line) and ‘Whiplash’ gets silly as a hairy bumpercress jazz sandwich. Mr Manuva is as reliable as always and joins in the fun ‘Nice Up The Function’.
Nowhere near as prolific as Shawn Lee, Mr. Carthy has got the same Miles Of Styles mentality.
And it’s all dancefloor tested and approved as when he’s not making his own music, he’s out DJing improbably long sets sustained by pots of ninja tea and a giant pickle or two. Ninja Tuna is now on tour and loads from the album and the usual mix of jazz, funk, soul, northern soul, disco, house, hip hop and the occasional Scruffy “odd-ball” leftfielder. All very recommended.
Tickets £15 advance from matterlondon.com, ticketweb, ticket-text.com.
Reviewed: Mr. Scruff - Ninja Tuna (Ninja Tuna) Cat. No: ZENCD143 Release date: 6th October 2008
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