Various Artists

On-U Sound Box

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AllMusic Review by

While the music on Cleopatra's On-U Sound Box is undoubtedly innovative and excitingly experimental, listeners expecting a definitive overview of the label's history will be disappointed; while there's plenty from Creation Rebel, Singers & Players, Voice of Authority, the New Age Steppers, and Playgroup, African Head Charge and Dub Syndicate -- two collectives responsible for a great deal of the label's finest output -- are nowhere to be seen. Moreover, the first disc is a straight-up repackaging of a previous various-artists collection titled Dub Xperience: Dread Operators, which is still in print. What could have been an essential package instead ends up frustrating due to the careless, slapdash compiling; overall, it's a missed opportunity in spite of its low price.

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