Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures label doesn't deserve the attention his Island Records did at its prime, but it sure deserves more than the attention it gets. When it comes to Palm Pictures' electronica artists, the bios can read like the records are going to be clever and slick disasters ("combining elements of dub, polka, and jungle" or something equally risky). Then you hear them and realize Blackwell and his people have that passion for solid, good music that Island always had. Collecting a wealth of remixes from the back catalog, Palm Beats, Vol. 1 is some pretty good evidence that the label should get more props than it does. Most of the tracks here are humid and sticky like the Jamaican climate Blackwell favors, and the spirit of dub rears its head often. Baaba Maal and Sly & Robbie's remixes are club slick rather than organic worldbeat, but treated with spirit and respect in the always tasteful hands of Palm. The two great Da Lata tracks could appeal to both the Buddha-Bar and deep house crowd, and if you haven't been hipped to the Mexican house of Bostich and his Nortec Collective buddies, do yourself a spicy favor and start here. There's nothing from 2004 that is cause for concern for the sometimes slow-with-the-releases Palm, but a Palm track from four years ago beats the same from plenty of other like labels.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries