Dub Revolutionaries: The Very Best Of Zion Train
Demon Music Group/Nascente
2 CD / Digital Download
July 11, 2011
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
The UK based dub-reggae-dance band Zion Train was founded by Perch (live dub mixing/production), in 1990 and he was later joined by Cod (melodica/production), Tench (production), Molara (voice), Hake (trumpet), and Forkbeard (trombone). The live line-up has always been very flexible, varying from Perch and a vocalist for sound-system gigs, to the full lineup for larger events. Zion Train live features a variety of renowned vocalists including Dubdadda and Earl 16 alongside Omar Perry, and YT. They are one of the finest live dub acts in the world and promoted the practice of dynamic on stage dub mixing which they perform alongside acoustic instruments and the best live vocalists.
Zion Train has been a remarkable prolific group, along with a mammoth recorded output and innumerable production credits, remixes and song writing collaborations they have produced magazines, CD-ROMs, Internet sites and built sound systems. An awesome dub album entitled 'Live As One' was released in September 2007 to great critical acclaim and was showcased in a 20 nation world tour. This album won the 2008 Jamaican Recording Industry grammy for 'Best Dub Album'.
2009 was rounded off with a further tour to promote the release of the ‘Live As One Remixed’ album. Taking in 15 nations to present the next installment, they received rave reviews throughout. The band had a storming Summer of festivals in 2010, highlights included; Sunrise & Beat Herder in the UK, Sudoeste in Portugal, Ostrava in Czech Republic and Ostroda Reggae festival in Poland.
From the beginning of 2010 Perch was back in the studio writing for the next Zion Train album ‘State Of Mind’ due for release September 2011. This was previewed with a single released in the Autumn 2010, entitled 'Rainbow Children', an update of the Aswad classic with Brinsley Forde and Dubdadda on vocals.
The summer of 2011 sees the release of "The Very Best Of Zion Train" for the highly respected world music label Nascente, home of recent releases from The Skatalites, Manu Dibango, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The double cd brings us 24 tracks, looking back more than 18 years, and we have to admit that this collection is a flawless showcase of the band, including a never before released radio session for John Peel (Through The Legs/Scottish Warrior), who called Zion Train one of his favourite live bands. This track is dedicated to Kenny Dalglish's European Cup winning goal at Wembley in 1978!
The album opens with their first ever single Dub Power, a track from 1991 featuring vocalist Sis K. Dub To Power was made famous by Jah Shaka, playing it on very heavy rotation. Vocals by the then debuting Molara. This tune can also be found on their album 'A Passage To Indica', a concept album that is based around a journey to a place where marijuana can be smoked, it could be Amsterdam or anywhere in the world where you can smoke it without fear. The album 'Natural Wonders Of The World In Dub' was dedicated to the beauty of our planet. From that album comes Ross Ice Shelf. Cuttlefish was part of a ROIR released UK dub compilation.
Get Ready was the band's adaptation of The Gladiators' tune of the same name, honouring one of Jamaica's great songwriters Albert Griffiths. Although it didn't sell at all when it was released, Follow Like Wolves eventually became the best selling single in the Universal Egg catalogue. The dub-house tunes samples in good style Neville Staples of The Specials. Very 90s and featuring Mene Man as MC alongside Molara. The Healing Of The Nation is a heavy dub/drum and bass tune with vocals from Afrikan Simba and Molara. Dub Of Life was their most successful attempt at a pop version of dub house.
Disc 2 opens with Procession, a very heavy, almost industrial, track from their album 'Grow Together'. More melodic and straight forward is Speaker Shaker, followed by War In Babylon, a drum and bass tune that features a sample from the Macka B track 'We've Had Enough'. The 2002 sound system tune Hailing Up The Selector is dedicated to all the warriors of the UK dub scene with raw vocals of MC Dubdadda. The same MC returns in fine style with Can't Keep A Good Man Down, a tune on the 'Love Revolutionaries' riddim. Give Me Good Sensi features the voice of renown vocalist Earl Sixteen.
Great set, great band, great sounds!