Boomkat Product Review:
Cult series MBE - home to mixtapes from Beatrice Dillon, Conor Thomas, EVOL and more, gives the headiest flashback to ‘90s ragga-techno-rave with Zion Train’s recording from the same United Tribe warehouse party that spawned Paul Daley ov Leftfield’s tape last year - proper dog-on-a-string and 10p-a-tab acid vibes!
Digging deep into the addled recesses of the collective rave memory, Zion Train’s set from the ECCHERCCA!? III rave, held by United Tribes in ’94, heralds a then-ubiquitous sound that was beloved by dancers, but sneered at by trendier heads. Stepping on the sweetspot between prog house, breaks, ragga-dub, and acid techno, it was the sort of style also favoured by Megadog and free-parties in the UK, running counter to more “handbag” house and buttoned-up vibes, with a loose as fuck new age-techno/crusty spirit open to all dancers up for a good skank.
We’re guessing that the ravers may have smelt a bit better in Naples, Italy, but still shared the open-minded vibe and politics (lots of shout outs to Amnesty International, legalise marijuana etc) that went hand-in-hand with the early ‘90s hippy spirit. For almost an hour the set rocks on its heel-toes with a psychedelic swirl of barrelling acid-dub bass, flying 909 steppers techno rhythm and vocals channelling Ari-Up for the ‘90s; soundsystem detonations sharing space with proggy trance pads and the sort of mystic ragga-dub acid heard in John T Gast via Iration Steppers and countless parties between Cornwall, Bristol, London, Leeds and Manchester. Simply a f good time without the sneer or the pretence that would creep into dance music as the ‘90s party would eventually burn itself out.
In resident DJ and member of the UT crew, Danylo's words: "Back in 1993, I was resident Dj and active member of United Tribes, playing upfront progressive house on our club nights. I was also thrilled by the emerging scene of ambient and techno dub gaining momentum in the same period. Then, our local record store in Naples, called Flying records, started to distribute 12-inch mix from a label unknown to me, called Universal Egg, Zion Train label. Well, I got amazed by the solid groove and bass of Universal Egg tunes. It was roots music projected into the future. At some point Ivanmaria Vele-the instigator of United Tribes- went to London on one of his usual trips where he met Paul Daley. In fact we were mad about the latest Leftfield productions and wanted him to play in Naples. Ivan and Paul met in a club where, surprisingly, Zion Train were playing in one of the darkest rooms. So the contact with Paul and Zion Train was created, 2 phone numbers and few notes a piece of paper with that brought us directly to shape ECCHERECCA!? III, in March 1994: The rest is history, and in this tape you can experience the incredible live performance by Zion Train. A step in a future that will ever be present."