With Gilles Peterson

Digital Mystikz producer Mala is working on a new album with Cuban musicians.

One of the pivotal figures in British bass culture, Mala has spent the best part of a decade pushing dubstep forward. Renowned for his deep, rhythmically complex productions the beatsmith has apparently been working on material with a Cuban flavour.

Chatting with ClashMusic, Gilles Peterson revealed that he recently convinced Mala to come out with him to Cuba. The trip left an enormous impression, with the Digital Mystikz producer now working on new material with musicians from the island which will act as an interpretation of Peterson's own 'Havana Cultura' experiments.

"One of the things I wanted to do on this latest album was to bring over Mala, the dubstep producer from Digital Mystikz. He’s a friend of mine and I wanted him to come over and I wanted to put an experiment together because he’s such a rhythm guy and he hadn’t been to Cuba before."

"So I basically took Mala over there with me and we spent the first few days recording Latin rhythms and we took those back to the UK and he’s been working on that. We went back and made the album, but when I was making the album I would be in studio one and all the musicians would come through and play a straightforward type of album. Then when they were done with me they would basically go through and see him and he would do his interpretation of the Cuban thing for his own album which is going to be coming out in February. February / March for our follow up album."

Gilles Peterson emphasised that the new material should not be viewed as a remix album, but as an entity in its own right. "Rather than have a remix album on the back of this project, which is what we did last time as a sort of follow through, this time we’re going to have a Mala interpretation which is going to be really interesting, I think."

During the trip to Cuba, Mala apparently played a DJ set at what could well be the first ever dubstep rave on the island. "We also did the first dubstep party in Cuba. Obviously he had his music with him!" laughed Gilles Peterson.

"We did a couple of parties over there, which was amazing. Actually, the scene out there was so hungry for it, they loved it. Some of the kids were aware of dubstep because it does get in there somehow. But it’s still very foreign to them because there are very few DJs, very few soundsystems that can take that kind of DJ culture."

Watch out for a full feature devoted to the Cuban music scene on ClashMusic soon.

Laurent Pasquier Photographe-Vidéaste

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