It was that same year, however, that the duo really began to shun convention and push the cut 'n' paste techniques utilized by favorites Double Dee & Steinski into new realms. Their newly formed Ninja Tune label became home to Coldcut's experimental trip-hop and abstract/breakbeat compositions, as well as those of the like-minded DJ Food and Hex. Over the ensuing decade, as Ninja's roster (and hipness quotient) grew to include Kid Koala, DJ Vadim, The Herbaliser, Amon Tobin, and other artists that Coldcut mentored and/or collaborated with, More and Black became known more for their "off the field" projects numerous U.K. club nights, a weekly pirate radio show, multimedia art installations all over Europe, and their ingenious, proprietary VJamm software (which allows video clips to be mixed and "scratched" live, much in the same way a DJ handles records) than their own studio efforts, which became increasingly sporadic.
Coldcut's recently released full-length, Sound Mirrors, is just its fourth, and the first since 1997's relatively abstruse Let Us Play. Interestingly, it finds More and Black coming full-circle, embracing supremely accessible, club- and radio-friendly sounds once again. Bollywood-pop banger "True Skool" engages with tabla bounce and English rapper Roots Manuva's dancehall delivery; "Walk a Mile" dives into some delicious deep house textures; and "Everything Is Under Control" sports greasy, Crystal Method-style big-beatness beneath the dueling vocals of howlin' Jon Spencer and rapper Mike Ladd. The album's finest moments occur when the duo marries its conventional and subversive streaks, as with the killer breakbeat and Amiri Baraka vocals that lance the syrupy electro-synth grooves of "Boogieman." That's when Coldcut fans are really rewarded.