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Album Review

When it was originally released in 1994, Zion Train's third album must have sounded much more strange and novel than it does today, when reggae and ethno/worldbeat dance music have become so globally intertwined. As it is, the remastered version (reissued in 2006) sounds perfectly contemporary, and if the Inuit album art and liner notes focusing whimsically on ancient political and religious history (complete with reading list) are a little bit befuddling, well, just focus on the beats. "Follow Like Wolves" starts the album off powerfully with a vocal hook nicked from the Specials' Two Tone classic "Why?" and harnessed to a fast rockers beat; "Eagle Ray" takes a similar approach, blurring the distinction between the relatively sedate four-on-the-floor thump of rockers reggae and the more abandoned four-on-the-floor thump of house music, a distinction that continues to be fudged on such dancefloor-friendly tracks as "Ruderalis," "Driftacid" and the electro-poppy "Galaxy." The album is just a bit soft in the middle, specifically on "Driftacid" and the wearisome "Getafix" (which is built on a relentless two-note bassline that wears out its welcome early on), but for the most part Siren is a sharp and joyful romp. Recommended.


Formed: 1990 in London, England

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s

Multimedia acid-dub collective Zion Train comprised vocalist Molara, DJ/bassist Neil Perch, trumpeter David Tench, melodica player Colin Cod and trombonist Chris. Formed in North London in 1990, its members initially came together as a dub sound system; their first single, the limited-edition roots 7" "Power One" (issued on their own Zion Records imprint), immediately sold out, while its follow-up "Power Two" was a major favorite at shaka dances throughout 1992. For their next effort, Zion Train...
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Siren, Zion Train
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