Zen TV: Video Retrospective

Zen TV: Video Retrospective
Finally! After producing some of the most truly amazing music videos of the past 15 years, Ninja Tune gets around to releasing two hours worth of visual oddness on DVD. The only problem is that with such a mass amount of eye candy, the label had to pick and choose what made the cut, leaving the likes of Dynamic Syncopation and Up, Bustle and Out completely off the roster. Why would Ninja bother showing us two Jaga Jazzist clips in favour of eliminating a part of their early family? Regardless, the essential Coldcut videos that started it all are present, with their classic video mash-ups, such as the environmentally-fronted "Natural Rhythm" and "Timber." Mr. Scruff's videos always come correct, as the producer's own adorable illustrations come to life, as do Monkmus's clever cartoons, which give visual brilliance to Kid Koala's "Fender Bender" and "Basin Street Blues." Let's face it though, not all of Ninja Tune's artistic visions are great, and Floria Sigismondi's horrible direction of Toronto apartment buildings and drugged-out fashion models manages to ruin the otherwise stunning "4 Ton Mantis" by Amon Tobin. Look for the best treats to come courtesy of the Hexstatic boys, with a martial arts lesson with "Ninja Tune" and a reminder to always buckle up with the "Auto" driving lesson. While managing to take part in some of the better promos on this DVD, Hexstatic also provide both an audio and visual mix of the videos on Zen TV, to great results. In fact, if you're not familiar with Ninja Tune's mini-motion pictures, you might want to check their video blend techniques first, rather than sifting through the 30-plus clips provided. Plus: artwork gallery. (Ninja Tune/Outside)