This is part of a series of articles on the state of the nation ahead of the seismic UK election on May 7. Check out what we demand from the next government, and don't forget to vote.
When it came to commissioning this exclsuive series of mixes on the state of our nightlife, Zomby's name was top of the pile. He's an auteur of British club music's many, many mutations. Combining a pointalist's sense of art and abstraction with a raver's sense of the rush and pull of the dance, his output has drawn on eski, dubstep and UK hardcore's strange strains.
Yet it's jungle that he chooses to rhapsodise on this mix. A half an hour step back into the jungle sound that dominated warehouses in the mid-90s. The Where Were You In '92 producer has always worn his influences on his sleeve, airhorns and all, and this mix radios right back to the rave. The skittish hi-hats, cut up vocals and Amen breaks mean one thing – welcome to the jungle. Here's what Zomby has to say about his formative club experiences and the state of UK nightlife in 2015.
Zomby: Dubplates remixes VIP's and white labels mostly. I dug in the bag and hit record basically.
Can you tell us something about what jungle means to you?
Zomby: It's really the definitive underground sound of Britain in the mid-90s along with hardcore just before it isn't it? I love it to death, once listened to it needs little explanation – it's a direct reflection of that time.
What was the most important club to you in your formative years? Why?
Zomby: For jungle, it was warehouse raves and illegal raves. I remember walking into low key warehouse raves and seeing big name jungle DJs playing randomly with the entire place dancing. It was that kind of incredible street level shit that made it special to me.
What's the one track that never fails to make you nostalgic for for your early club experiences?
Zomby: Man that's a big question. I'm too young to have heard tracks like "Terminator" and "Valley of the Shadows" played for the first time and I'm still playing them out now on occasion.
What do you think about the state of UK nightlife today?
Zomby: Some great clubs, some great lineups, but then also too many venues being shut down and too many boring, middle-aged rock festivals. The rest is pretty much as it's always been I guess.
Where do you think the most exciting nightlife is happening in the country right now?