Various: Mancha de Platano

Etihad/Beta Bodega, 2002

I’m sure I’ve said it before, but Beta Bodega sure is good at putting together compilations. After some vocal samples and intro noodling, Spike starts things off right with the groovin’ “Triunfo de los Trabajadores.” Next Servo’s “Fetch” has a bassline to die for (and some sweet melodic elements to boot). Zooplank adds noise to the mix, with an aggressive clattering of DSP abstraction. Jake Mandell’s contribution is pleasantly subdued, with a driving beat and echoes over top. By the time a retro bassline kicks in, I’m in love. Finally, Void provides a hip-hop masterpiece, rhyming about the oppression of native peoples over strings and thick beats.

Each of Beta Bodega Coalition’s releases is accompanied by a political message. This compilation urges a halt to U.S. bombing in Vieques. It’s exciting to see further proof that electronic music can be both political and emotional. This release was limited to 1000 copies, and has been available a few weeks now, so be sure to track it down.

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