The deal covers all territories excluding Japan and the US, and represents a unique step for Ninja Tune. It is the first time that they have licensed recordings from another label, as opposed to signing artists themselves. “It is a big step,” explained Ninja‘s label manager Peter Quicke. “We don’t usually license things, but Quannum are one of the few hip-hop labels in America who are doing something unusual.”
The label Solesides was started by Blackalicious, Latryx and Shadow in the early ’90s. Many of the releases were licensed through Mo Wax for the rest of the decade, before they relaunched as Quannum Projects last year, releasing Blackalicious‘ acclaimed ‘Nia’ album, and the ‘Spectrum’ compilation. “I’ve (we’ve) been gaining a lot of respect for Ninja Tune over the last several years,” explained DJ Shadow in his original e-mail to Ninja, proposing the deal. “We have been looking towards new horizons label-wise in the UK and beyond for quite some time, and now that the opportunity has presented itself, we should hook up and shoot the shoot.”
The first release will be a compilation of rare and unreleased tracks from Shadow, Latryx and Blackalicious entitled ‘Solesides Greatest Bumps’, which will be released on October 30th. The deal does not include Shadow‘s solo material, which it is believed will come out on the Island subsidiary ran by London Live DJ Ross Allen, Blue.