Where Were U in '92?

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The press materials describe Zomby's debut full-length as "the rave album that was never made in the early '90s," which seems a fairly apt way of getting the idea across -- though in fact, this batch of tracks would have sounded distinctly strange at any rave of the period. Much of it draws heavily on dubstep, a genre that only emerged fully in the late 2000s; "Euphoria," for example, is particularly dubsteppy (with a decided emphasis on "dub"), as is the dancehall-flavored "Get Sorted," which takes the same general structure as the preceding (and inferior) "Tears in the Rain" and spices it up with sharper samples and a more compelling beat. A couple of other tracks -- notably the album's witty opening track and "GTI" -- incorporate explicitly jungle-derived rhythms, nicely complicating the album's general texture. What are more startling are the house tracks, which truly would have sounded quite at home in an early-'90s rave, though the house/jungle/hip-hop hybrid track "Pillz" (an initially exciting but ultimately just tiring number) would have left more than one raver scratching his head in puzzlement. Most interesting of all is the album's final selection, "U Are My Fantasy (Street Fighter II Theme Remix)," which alternates house and dubstep rhythms in an excitingly disconcerting way.

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