Various Artists

Select Cuts from Nation

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From a label well into their second decade of business before most others realized there was such a thing as worldbeat-flavored dub and dance, Nation released a prescient selection of their best material, and some of the best rangy fusions of world music and electronica. Starting off with an excellent performance from one of their best acts, Transglobal Underground, Select Cuts From Nation finds the seminal label connecting continents via a parade of acts blending acid house, Indian filmi music, hip-hop, Cuban music, drum'n'bass, bhangra, and dub. The result is practically impossible to classify -- whether it be tribal-house or ethnic fusion or some other two-bit term, none of them begin to nail down such ephemeral (and radically different, from track to track) fusions as these. Though a few of the highlights come from expected sources -- Transglobal Underground ("Delta Disco"), Asian Dub Foundation (the intelligent immigration polemic "P.K.N.B."), Fun^Da^Mental ("Mother India"), some of the rather obscure names make great contributions too: DJ Swami, who contribute the renegade bhangra fusion "Disciples," and Joi, with a Spring Heel Jack remix of "E.S.Y." With all the lame, no-account ethnic fusion cluttering the shelves, it's often difficult to find anything worth hearing, but make no mistake: This is it.

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