Two electronic powerhouse labels are forging a new partnership.
Foreign Family Collective (FFC), the imprint from electronic duo ODESZA, is partnering with revered electronic label Ninja Tune. Under the terms of this partnership, Ninja Tune will handle the global release, promotion and distribution of the entire Foreign Family Collective catalog. With Ninja Tune at the helm of these initiatives, the FFC team will be allowed more time to focus on A&R and the label’s creative direction.
“Historically, Ninja Tune has been at the forefront of a variety of incredibly impactful and new trends and genres in music – an impact and legacy we hope to also have,” ODESZA’s Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight tell Billboard. “And at the core, the people that comprise Ninja Tune are, simply put, creatives, innovators and music-crazed. And we feel an affinity with that.
The partnership follows years of collaboration between the two labels, with significant milestones in the professional relationship including Ninja Tune’s release of ODESZA’s monumental third LP A Moment Apart, which hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 in the fall of 2017. (Counter Records also co-released the project.)
“When we first heard ODESZA, it was evident they were exploring all corners of the ‘electronic’ music world, but distilling it down into something inimitably them — characterized by incredible harmonic work, songcraft, and a production signature that’s intimate and warm but also epic and incredibly evocative,” says Marie Clausen, Ninja’s Tune’s Head of North America and Head of Global Streaming.
Foreign Family Collective’s current roster includes two dozen musical acts, including ODESZA, Jai Wolf, Memba, Big Wild, Evan Giia and the ODESZA side project BRONSON, a collaboration with Australian producer Golden Features. The label is also home to five visual artists including Japanese Dad, the artist with whom the duo collaborated on their March NFT release.
“Whilst it’s difficult to really condense their super eclectic A&R and signings into one sonic lane or sound,” Clausen says of this roster, “it feels like they’re further exploring all their myriad influences, styles, and ideas via FFC and seeing what lies in the deeper expanses of those sonic worlds. Ultimately they sign what they love, which is all any label should do.”
Based in the U.K., Ninja Tune was founded in 1990 by electronic musicians Matt Black and Jonathan More, who performed as Coldcut. The label now has offices in Berlin, London, Paris and Los Angeles and hosts an expansive roster that currently features Jayda G, Bonobo, Machinedrum, Tycho, Wajatta, Bicep, 박혜진 Park Hye Jin, Thundercat and other electronic music legends and essential rising stars.
“Our global brand is very strong, and we’re excited to present the FFC projects through our networks,” says Clausen. “We’ll be working the projects in the same way we do anything else — as hard as possible in every direction possible, as long as the music stays as strong as it has been and the artists work as hard as artists are required to in 2021, we’re super confident it’ll be a successful partnership globally.”
According to Mills and Knight, teaming with Ninja Tune will ultimately help them achieve their biggest goal of supporting artists they believe in.
“In the short term, we are excited to get back to throwing concerts and in-person events,” the guys say. “In the long run, we can’t wait to expand the reaches of the roster and find new artists from all over the world. Another priority of ours is to continue exploring new technologies in artistic expression and ways to bring the dialogue between creator and appreciator closer, to connect artists and fans in new mediums.”
As for their next album, Mills and Knight say they’re “working away at it and are super proud of—and happy with—what we have been creating recently.”
Certainly, when this LP is ready, it will have a world-class home.