Various Artists

BBQ Beets, Vol. 2

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If these artists are all really recording solo joints for the Agriculture label, then it's baffling how the label has stayed so well below the music-business radar. A compilation that includes multiple sides by DJ Wally, Badawi, Sub Dub (probably just Badawi again), DJ Olive, and Lloop is one that ought to get wide distribution; if it doesn't, we're all the worse off. The good news is that you and I have a copy, and even though mine is missing most of the artwork it's still crammed with a fine array of twisted underground grooves: there's some nicely chilled ambient small-beat (DJ Wally's "Yes It's True"), a slab of gorgeous post-rockers dub ("Firecamp," by the inexcusably obscure Nettle), some good-humored and slightly goofy experimental dancehall (David Last's "Secret Society"), and even some pan-African collage work by (no surprise) Badawi (that track is called "Approach," and you get ten extra points if you can name the African Head Charge single that used the same ethnic chant sample back in 1986). Best In Show goes to Once 11, who will knock you out on the album's penultimate track: it's vigorous without being fast; efficient without being businesslike; funky without being especially energetic. Lloop ends the program with a whimper, not a bang, but it's not enough to offset the tremendously good vibes that dominate throughout the vast majority of this wonderful album. Essential.