May 31, 2011

Sach O is surprised his neighbors haven’t killed him yet. Their ceilings must be rattling.

Mala commands the kind of awe among Dubstep fans that goes beyond simple respect into the realm of sheer idolatry. The kind of musical presence that has your annoying old uncle yelling “Clapton is God” years after the fact and that keeps The Grateful Dead in business long after Jerry Garcia passed away in physical (but not ice cream) form. Like the aforementioned rockers, Mala’s music explodes past the physical realm into the spiritual through the sheer force of his prowess on his chosen instrument: in this case electronic sub-frequencies pressed to wax plates and then mixed. He rarely does interviews, plays where and when he wants, releases music according to his own personal schedule and never, ever compromises. In short, he’s a consummate artist in a time when his peers have all long since moved on from underground notoriety to the pop realm. I doubt he ever considered doing things any other way.

His latest mix for XLR8R is 45 minutes of Dubstep at it’s darkest, heaviest and rawest. Forget tear out riffs, Funky House or pub singer crossover, this is that real shit – the kind of abstract, underground urban funk that disappeared from Hip-Hop with classic Havoc, RZA and Premier. More than half the tracks are unreleased and most will stay that way. If you want to catch them again you’ll have to see the man in his element: in front of a giant stack of speakers manipulating riddims with the precision and dedication of his spiritual forefathers King Tubby, Lee Perry, Scientist and Prince Buster. More than any other producer/DJ, Mala is the direct line between Dubstep, Dub and the theoretical, mythical and spiritual roots of African music. Listen and learn and don’t even try to play this without a proper sub.

MP3: Mala – XLR8R Podcast (left click)

01 Mala – Digital Mystikz “Livin’ Different VIP” (DMZ)
02 V.I.V.E.K “Feel It” (Deep Medi)
03 Goth-Trad “Seeker”
04 Coki – Digital Mystikz “Ironshirt”
05 Mala “Enter Dimensions”
06 Kryptic Minds + Youngsta “Arcane”
07 Dark Tantrums “Unborn”
08 V.I.V.E.K “Big Bang” (Deep Medi)
09 Mavado “Dem A Talk (TMSV Refix)”
10 Coki “Revolution”
11 Jack Sparrow “Afraid of Me”
12 Mensah “Gambia”
13 The Dub Mechanics “The Clash”
14 Mala “Bad Spirits on Shoulders”
15 Digital Mystikz “Dun Stinky”
16 Commodo “Saracen” (Deep Medi)
17 Coki “Duppy Sour Sap”
18 Johnny Osbourne “Fally Rankin (V.I.V.E.K. Dub Version)” (Greensleeves)
19 Mala “Education” (DMZ)
20 Old Apparatus “Untitled Intro” (Deep Medi)

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