April 29, 2013

You can’t find a more essential musical figure of the last ten years than Mala. No need to reiterate the qualifications of the Deep Medi and Digital Mystikz founder who practically invented what we used to know as dubstep (i.e. before the Americans removed all sense of dub and step). If you’re in the dark as to the history of the London native, read Son Raw’s pieces on him here or here. Earlier this month, the BBC finally asked him to drop a long awaited Essential Mix that spans his influences and his massive impact. So there is classic dub from Augustus Pablo, Little Roy, Dennis Brown, and Sly and Robbie. There’s even a Bob Marley track that obviously does not appear on Legend.

But most of the two hour mix is devoted to vintage Mala and first generation dubstep from other artists on the Deep Medi and Hyperdub imprints. This should be mandatory listening for every Dubstep DJ who has ever substituted flashing strobes and scary monsters for the original swing. No one is asking for stasis or identical influences among artists, but dubstep is a punchline because it became a mutation. When you fail to understand what makes tracks work or a sense of groove and space, you get Jersey Shore-step. You go from a gritty urban hybrid to a steroidal suburban swill. When music historians go back to study the period, this mix might almost be as important as the early Dubstep Warz. This is dubstep at its best, before it it became an accessory to the perfect neon tank top. The tracklist and download links are below the jump. It goes from light to dark and is best heard late at night with some collie weed and a sense of creeping inertia.

MP3: Mala – BBC Essential Mix (Left-Click)


mark pritchard – unknown
augustus pablo – east of the river nile
little roy – hurt not the earth
dennis brown – promised land
bob marley – running away
Rhythm & Sound – Friend
aly & robbie – shabby attack
mala & aimbad – noche suenos
ballaké sissoko & toumani diabaté – bafoulabe
mala – body clock delay
mala & sgt. pokes – answer me
quest – dubfoot
mala- lean forward
silkie – neckback
mala – blue notez
coki – intergalactic
loefah – punisher
mala – torn at the roots
coki – serious
coki – coral reef
fat freddy’s drop – cays crays (digital mystikz remix)
compa – alpha
pinch – swish (distance remix)
mala – miracles
las – tic
mala – changuito
mala – cuba electronica
mala – Disko Rekah
loefah – disco rekka
tunnidge – twenty12
kromestar – jedeye
kode9 – 9 samourai
swindle – last minute googie
mala – anti-war dub (VIP)
mala – changes (james blake remix)

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