Mala in Cuba
In May 2011, Mala (Digital Mystikz), a British/Jamaican electronic artist internationally recognized as being at the forefront of the original ‘dubstep’ movement, travelled to Havana with DJ, broadcaster and record collector Gilles Peterson to work on a new album.
During the recording sessions for Gilles’s Havana Cultura: The Search Continues album at Abdala Studios, Mala installed himself in a small studio across the corridor from the main hub. With a constant stream of gifted local musicians and vocalists passing through, from singer and songwriter Danay Suárez to the legendary percussionist Changuito and acclaimed pianist Roberto Fonseca, this was a true journey of discovery for everyone concerned. Back home with a laptop crammed with inspiration, Mala began to stitch the story of his Cuban adventure together. The outcome is documented on his album Mala in Cuba.
The result of a true culture clash, Mala in Cuba marries the intricate rhythms and deep spiritual heritage of Cuba with Mala’s own roots in South London and his dedication to bass culture. The space, depth and weight of the sound is vintage Mala, but the melodies, licks, chord progressions, rhythms and chattering percussion are uniquely Cuban.
A devotee of Jamaican sound system culture, Mala led from the front as the first waves of so-called “dubstep” filtered out from Croydon’s Big Apple Records, battering bassbins across South London in 2002/03. Fiercely independent, he co-founded the label and legendary nightclub DMZ and has produced some of the scene’s most vital and acclaimed tracks as Digital Mystikz. Mala is universally respected as an innovator and leader not only within the global dubstep movement, but also within the broader electronic realm.
Find 'Mala in Cuba' on Soundcloud and iTunes