24 Questions to: Zion Train

Your name: Neil Perch
You live in: Cologne
Title of your latest album or your last EP: Dub Conference by Abassi All Stars 2013, previously State Of Mind by Zion Train 2011.

What is your definition of Dub?
Dub is psychedelic reggae … deconstructed and reinterpreted by the mixing engineer.

What is essential for a good dub?
Essential for a good dub is a good tune/ song to start with and a talented, open minded mixing engineer.

You are a pioneer of UK-produced dub. How did you get into the business?
I got into dub by being hugely affected by sound systems, mainly Jah Shaka – once I heard that, I had to make music like it.

You produce dub-music for more than 20 years now. Do you still enjoy it?
In fact I produce dub for over 25 years now and every day I remember I am one of the lucky people who earns their living with something they love and that touches other people“s hearts – so yes, I still enjoy it.

What was your biggest success and your biggest failure?
My biggest success is always avoiding categorisation. My biggest failure is not YET converting the whole of humanity into dub loving pacifists.

How has the dub-music-scene changed, since you started your business? When was the best time?
Dub music has gone international since I started in it when it was not even well known in the UK. At the same time the intenet has started and multiplied, Cds were born and since then CDs and vinyl have died so the scene has changed hugely – what remains the same is the basic positivity that always comes with Dub. The best time is yet to come … of course.

How would you describe your style of dub?
I would describe my style of Dub as open minded.

What is your process of creating a typical dub-track?
I have no typical process of producing a Dub track as I like to take a different approach everytime I work in the recording studio – I treat it as a personal challenge. However in general first a musical idea, then record it, back it up with instruments,  sonic texture and arangements, then deconstruct into dub using the chosen method of the day.

What do you like best about dub-music?
I like the mental space Dub music provides – a universal language with no need for words.

What are your personal top 5 dub albums?
Israel Vibration: Israel Dub
Aswad: New Chapter Of Dub
King Tubby: Dub Jackpot
Burning Spear: Living Dub
Creation Rebel: Starship Africa

Who is the greatest dub artist of all time for you?
King Tubby is the greatest Dub artist of all time for me.

And who is the currently most interesting dub artist?
Radikal Guru (PL) and Gentlemans Dub Club (UK).

What is the musically most interesting decade for you? Why?
Musically most interesting decade 68-78 due to the technology explosion, the political and social changes that rocked the worked at the time.

What is your current favorite album?
Revolver by the Beatles.

What is your opinion on dubstep?
Dubstep is an interesting musical phenomenom with an occassional good tune – but like most musical explosions, it is 95% rubbish.

Are you able to earn a living with your music?
I have earnt my living for 25 years solely through music.

What is your particular strength?
Discipline, honour and respect.

What do you enjoy most about what you are doing?
The thing I enjoy most about what I do is FREEDOM – particularly the freedom of self expression.

When not tinkering with dubs, what do you prefer to do?
When not tinkering with Dubs I prefer to tinker with my dog.

Is there something you still want to achieve? A big goal?
I still need to achieve converting the world into pacifist Dub lovers – so I will stick to that task.

Where and how do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I guess I will be right here on planet earth still try to achieve converting the world into pacifist Dub lovers.

If you could choose the one most essential track from your oeuvre, which one would it be?
I never listen to my own music outside of the studio or performance, many of my tracks are important for personal reasons but I hope  never have to choose an essential track.

How do you see the future of Dub?
The future of Dub, is more global spread, more diverse influences, more people diluting it, stealing the essence and making money from it but hopefully more peace and love through the spread of this good vibes sound and attitude.

If time and money wouldn’t count: What project would you like to start?
I would deweaponise the globe and feed every hungry mouth there is.

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