When pioneering producers Coldcut started the esteemed British record label Ninja Tune in 1990 they thought it would be a good idea to start a publishing company too, so they created Just Isn’t Music (JIM) to publish the Ninja Tune releases. Today JIM’s catalogue comprises the vast majority of the Ninja Tune repertoire and more, boasting a roster that includes Coldcut, Mr Scruff, The Cinematic Orchestra, Amon Tobin, Flying Lotus, Diplo, Bonobo, Toddla T, Fink, Speech Debelle, The Heavy, Redlight and many more, but not too many more.
JIM has a dedicated A&R dept plugging our writers and songs to labels and A&Rs across the industry. Invitations to pitch go to the most suited writers on the roster weekly and submissions have been made for Frank Ocean, Solange, Bjork, Snoop, SZA, Wiz Khalifa, TDE and GOOD artists among others. Recently JIM writers have featured on albums by Childish Gambino, The Weeknd, Mac Miller, Schoolboy Q. Within the Ninja Tune and JIM family of labels and artists there is constant cross-pollination of writers and projects, including JIM writers who aren’t signed to Ninja Tune, from Breach to Flying Lotus.
JIM Bespoke is an in-house dedicated original composition and music supervision service covering TV, film, ads and video games in the UK and through our sister office in North America. Robin Buclkey brings a wealth of industry experience to the department and has developed a roster which combines established TV, film and ad composers with those commercial artists from the JIM roster (including Amon Tobin, The Cinematic Orchestra, Flying Lotus, Bonobo) who have experience in bespoke composition. JIM Bespoke has provided original composition and/or music supervision for the following brands and productions: Nike, Assassin’s Creed, Apple, DKNY, True Blood, Sony Playstation, O2, Lucozade, The Walking Dead, Splinter Cell, Lipton and many more.
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Brazilian-born Amon Tobin first emerged between 1994-1995 with a string of 12″ singles on a small London-based record label called 9Bar Records. The album that followed, ‘Adventures In Foam’, paved the way for a whole generation of electronic productions and prompted his signing to the prodigious Ninja Tune in 1996. He has since gone on to record seven critically- acclaimed albums under his own name on Ninja that have since helped define the label as a force in musical innovation and diversity. In addition, Amon has produced a small number of radically diverse original scores ranging from George Palfi’s cult cinema oddity ‘Taxidermia’ to Tom Clancy’s video game blockbuster ‘Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory’.
The depth and scope of Amon Tobin’s work have had a far-reaching influence, garnering respect amongst producers and artists both within and outside electronic music. Whether with the classical avant garde Kronos Quartet or D’n’B legends Noisia, or on his own in some invented form, Amon has established a reputation for musical ingenuity that is unconfined by genre. Over a fifteen-year-long career Amon Tobin remains among one of the most visionary electronic artists of a generation.
The 2007 album ‘Foley Room’ explored the role of found sound in modern day music. Documented on film, the process of recording minute insects to lions, wolves, engines and foley performances culminated in a much- lauded performance at the birthplace of musique concrete, the GRM Theatre in Paris. More recently, the famed London Metropolitan Orchestra performed selected works from a cross-section of his musical repertoire at the Royal Albert Hall. The performance included a piece from his forthcoming studio album due for release in early 2011.
An Acronym for “Invented Sound Applied to Music”, ISAM was an experiment in synthesizing field recordings and transforming them into new physically playable instruments to create unique sound palettes. From Amon’s own voice gender-modified to the sound a of a creaking chair mutated into a string ensemble, ISAM directs an academic approach in audio manipulation to a purely emotional musical context. This contrast is central to the album and represents a pivotal moment in Amon’s personal musical development. Sound design techniques previously used in film, as pioneered by the likes of Ben Burt (Star Wars, Wall-E) were utilized along side new ones Amon developed specifically for ISAM and applied in an unprecedented approach to music production.
The specific nature of the album demanded new thinking in terms of how to present it live and this in turn lead to an entirely new kind of music performance. ISAM Live is a hybrid of interactive cinema and a concert experience in which sound determines a narrative. Much like the album, the live show adapted existing and emerging technologies to new contexts. Projection mapping, which had up to then been largely the domain of static mostly corporate visual showcases, was configured for the first time to narrate the musical performance of an entire album. A giant cubic structure was built housing a control booth from which Amon could perform while providing an intricate canvas on to which a story was told as an audio reactive, three dimensional visual interpretation of the music being played.
ISAM Live reshaped audience’s expectations of electronic music concerts for years to come selling out the worlds most prestigious venues. From the Sydney Opera House to the Olympia in Paris to the London Hammersmith and LA’s Greek Theater ISAM Live received universal acclaim as a landmark in audio visual performance.
In May of 2012, Amon Tobin and Ninja Tune released the Amon Tobin Boxset: a strictly limited edition release and that came in the form of a beautiful high quality bolt fastened mechanical ‘press’ and included 6 x 10″ vinyls, 7 CDs, 2 DVD’s and several posters. Most of the material is unreleased, almost none of it has ever been available on a physical format before. It includes new music, unreleased dub plates and a wealth of archive material, Amon Tobin’s earliest audio experiments (never been played in public before), film and television score work, unreleased score work, deleted bootlegs, ISAM live show DVD, ISAM live audio album, remixes, cover versions and re-interpretations of the ISAM album, remixes Amon has produced for others, a recording of the (November 2010) Royal Albert Hall orchestrations of Amon Tobin and more.
Concurrent to ISAM Live’s final run around the globe, in October 2012, Stunt Rhythms, the sophomore release from Amon’s beat-orientated alias Two Fingers dropped. A double CD and triple LP release, Stunt Rhythms is as much body-popping beats as it is raw synth energy. The Two Fingers project is in parallel with Amon’s more esoteric musical excursions. A furious vent between exploring the outer reaches of sound.