Mary Anne Hobbs/ Various Warrior Dubz

Despite its regrettably lame cover art — an eagle pecking at a stripper’s nipple — this compilation, curated and mixed by BBC Radio 1 DJ Mary Anne Hobbs, still serves as a decent North American primer for those who’ve been reading about the London dub step/grime scene but don’t know where to start. All the UK’s most talked about club names of 2006 are here, from the apocalyptic grime of Milanese vs. Virus Syndicate and Wiley to dub step all-stars like Burial, Plasticman and Kode 9 to dub-techno, while UK garage heads like Andy Stott. Digital Mystiks, the Bug, Loefah and a few others round out the disc. The label emphasises that much of the songs here are exclusive tracks but the reality is that they’re more specifically exclusive versions — this doesn’t disparage the comp at all but may confuse anyone who thinks they’re getting tracks they don’t already own. The mixing is a rudimentary affair but fortunately, all the selections have a proven track record, so you’re getting the best of what vinyl produced last year, all on one CD. This is a handy, well-executed comp, mixing qualms aside, especially for anyone needing an entry point or looking to dig deeper. (Planet Mu)