Various, Select Cuts From Blood & Fire (Select Cuts): I feel more decadent listening to dub than I do to such supposedly malnutritious slices of pop perfection as L'Trimm or M2M. For me, dub is the ultimate leisure music — as if listening to its verses get pushed down a well or whatnot couldn't be anything more than a waste of time or, at best, waiting for something else to happen. On paper, this CD seemed far from a corrective. Techno types like Stereo MCs and The Orb were set free to select any cut from the prestigious Blood & Fire reissue catalog and remix it, making the result versions of versions. Or, because who knows with dub, versions of versions of versions, on and on into increased abstraction and irrelevance. Surprisingly, though, many of these overhauls add blood and sometimes fire to the music's trippy exoskeleton. I doubt Yabby You has ever been treated to a more bangin' mix than the simple but potent backbeat Smith & Mighty provide for "Conquering Lion." In Sounds From the Ground's remix of Impact All Stars' (dig that title) "Just Another Dub," the hovering gauzy synth-pulse respects dub's edge-of-perception ocean song while still giving the track a sense of direction. It's all still quite leisurely, but this time I don't feel so guilty about it. — Kevin John

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