Various Polska Rootz: Beatz, Dubs, Mixes and Future Folk from Poland

This compilation, mixed by Zonic, showcases the fertile underground Polish reggae scene stemming from the early '80s. Subgenre polska rootz mixes dub and dancehall with the deep-seated cultural reverence of Polish folk music. The hybrid cuts are the most compelling: Studio As One's remix of the Orkiestra Swietego Mikolaja's "Kolomyjka Jarocinska," Zakopower's combination of folk fiddle and pumping kick on "Kiebyś Ty," and Lao Che's "Hiszpan" sounds like Manu Chao crashed a klezmer festival. The more straight-up jungle or ragga tracks with Polish lyrics, such as Perch's remix of Vavamuffin, are less convincing but rock hard. Like much of the rest of Europe, reggae made its inroads into the Polish punk scene at the end of the '70s; this history is represented by Masala (Soundsystem)'s cover of legendary Eastern European hardcore band Dezerter's "XXI.Wiek." The compilation is a fascinating listen for anyone interested in how reggae and dub are transformed by various cultures. (Eastblok)