Various Select Cuts From Nation

German label Select Cuts is probably better known for its three-volume compilation catalogue of remixed dub and reggae tracks taken from Manchester's Blood and Fire label. Here, they collaborate with another respected British label, Nation Records, to release a selection of tracks from the Nation catalogue. As such, the compilation is like a heady blend of the best, and lesser-known, tracks by Nation's multifaceted talents. Transglobal Underground (TGU) open the compilation with "Delta Disco," a track previously found on their 1998 release Rejoice Rejoice, with its references to "hipsters, tripsters and finger-popping daddies." The refrain, "Egyptian pharaohs fell from the sky and played the blues" is an oft-quoted TGU line and points to the kind of mad melee that characterises Nation's other catalogue members. Japan's Audio Active, under the moniker of Dry and Heavy, remix Asian Dub Foundation's "P.K.N.B.," minus the brilliant ADF lyrics that bring discriminatory immigration laws under fire. While Fun-da-Mental, fronted by label founder Aki Nawaz, contribute two poetic and incongruous tracks via "Mother India," with its dub poetry-like quality, and "Sunday School's" resounding South African choir. The beautiful Moroccan-Lebanese vocalist Natacha Atlas makes a few appearances, singing in Spanish with Loca. There is also another version of a track found on her early single, "Dub Yalil," called "Stoitinki." While the version found on "Dub Yalil" is far more ethereal and powerful, Atlas can rarely do wrong and she's a welcome presence in the compilation. The tracks read like a who's who of the early dance/dub/global groove scene, with early vanguards Joi, as well as TJ Rehmi and Swami. Select Cuts From Nation is a nice introduction to the Nation catalogue for newcomers. (Select Cuts)