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Reinventing the remix: British label Ninja Tune releases Jamm app for iPhone, iPad

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Ninja Jamm
Ninja Jamm

A number of companies and artists have tried their hand at remix apps for iOS, but the Ninja Jamm app released today by British electronic label Ninja Tune (the indie label launched by Coldcut) is noteworthy for a few reasons. Geared toward both casual listeners and more experienced DJs and music producers, the freemium app lets users download and remix "Tunepacks" featuring original tracks and mixes by Coldcut and other Ninja artists, including Amon Tobin, Bonobo, Mr. Scruff, Martyn and many others.

Each Tunepack track is broken up into different instrumental parts — drums, bass, vox, melody, keys, etc. — which users can independently manipulate with effects and re-record. Users can upload their finished remixes to Soundcloud and share to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. The app comes with one Tunepack from Coldcut to start, the seminal "Beats and Pieces", and then users can pay $0.99 for single-track Tunepacks or $1.99 four-track "EP" Tunepacks. Ninja Tune says it will be launching new Tunepacks every two weeks at least, including exclusive material, and that an Android version is planned. The app and the new music bundling model are logical ones for Coldcut, which along with Hex, released interactive CD-ROMs with music and remix software back in the late 1990s. Aspiring sonic Ninjas can download Jamm for free from the App Store now.