Select Cuts from Nation
[nation records]   review from derek  

As with any dance comp, this catalog of euro-based dancefare wavers from tightly laced bass-heavy jams to tracks of stunning mediocrity. Geared more toward club floors than living rooms, though, it's tough to gauge its overall effects on a pair of Paradigm bookshelf speakers. Tracks like "Stoitinki," a Space Cadets track featuring Natacha Atlas and Jah Wobble, remixed by Transglobal Underground (how many hands have passed over it?) makes immediate impact, as does Kakoulli/Greenwood's remix of "Timbal" by Loca featuring Atlas once again. Yet there is something comforting in laying out so many contributors; namely, a sense of social and creative camaraderie that Nation was founded on. In that, Select Cuts is an excellent example.

Political messages fail, however, when they're forced into a track. When the message is more important than the creation, a sense of accessibility is lost. Reactionary movements are often nothing more than flip-sides of their oppressors, two arms of the same law scuffling, one to maintain its stronghold, the other to attain one. Tracks like Fun Da Mental's "Mother India" is one such example. Asian Dub Foundation's "P.K.N.B." is a better example of integrating message with medium, though Dry & Heavy's Connection Dub mix lacks slightly in sustainability. Fun Da Mental's latter contribution, "Sunday School," is much closer in proximity to progressiveness, while Xangetos's "Clicksong" (Yam Yam Remix) is a nice departure from floor madness to a killer afro-groove. Overall, Select Cuts is a prime example of what you can expect from the label, and if you're willing to sort out the killer tracks, it's worth the time.

ethnotechno rating: 3 out of 5
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