It's an odd move. Zomby's slew of chip-heavy output hasn't danced down the jungle path, so releasing a throwback record when everyone's waiting with bated breath for his debut album proper may seem surprising. Forget the Hyperdub hubbub of "Spliff Dub" or the modest bleep fervour of "Strange Fruit": This is instead a straight-laced compilation of hardcore appropriations Zomby had been putting together in his spare time. Old-skool ghosts haunt the record; samples of former glories packing punches like bouts of Stockholm Syndrome on the senses as you glance familiar faces from well over a decade ago. Whether turning the 1991 rush of Bizarre Inc's "Playing with Knives" inside out on "Float" or ripping into some fur-lined Atlanta rap, eating up Gucci Mane's "Pillz" and regurgitating it over a beat that sounds like a Shut Up And Dance production played out through a SNES, it's one captivating collection.
Many will be disappointed to find that this isn't a true representation of the output that the East London tyke's been proffering the last year. There seems no denying it on anyone's part that Where Were You In 92? is one hedonistic retreat to rave's glory days that acts as much as a history lesson plotting trails and picking at strands of the UK's early '90s dance scene as anything else. But for all the temptation that might be there—with a raft of producers currently wading through a swamp of jungle sounds—it seems all the better for being a bleary eyed tribute rather than attempting to package itself up as a revivalist release coated in klaxons (you'll notice a few sneak in, mind).
Where were you in '92? It seems fair enough that some might not want to revisit that one. With 12-inches due on Ramp and Hyperdub before the year's out, this record needs be taken with a pinch of salt, as an affectionate glance back before Zomby no doubt darts off to continue producing some of the most infectious glitch-coated dancefloor gems going. If you can stomach that, it'll have you donning some mank Slammin' Vinyl bomber jacket and prancing like a lunatic as if it really were '92.