Mala, dubstep originator and owner of the Deep Medi record label, continues his South American journey in his brand new and highly anticipated album, Mirrors. Released on the 24th of June via Gilles Peterson’s record label, Brownswood Recordings, fans can finally grab it straight from Mala’s Bandcamp. The songs are available in three formats: digital download, CD or a 3 x vinyl boxset.
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The opening track, Kotos, has been creating hype for a few months already and we got to catch a glimpse of the sure-fire roller, Looney, from a radio clip featuring Gilles Peterson and James Blake. Other than that, fans haven’t had much to go on until now. The titles of each track were available to ponder, leaving us time to see how long the album was and guess the headbangers from the more unique spins simply by the names.
One track I hadn’t spotted in writing that has certainly jumped out at me in sound is Markos Swagga. The early DMZ digital triplets that converse in their robotic tones throughout the chaotic and natural Peruvian percussion make the strongest bridge between Mala’s Croydon bass-culture and the fiery spirits of Peru. It also has one of the strongest standings for the club environment, whereas many of the other tracks seem very well suited for the headphones.
The good thing about headphones is that they make sure the music comes with you wherever you go. This album is definitely one to bring along. Whether you’re walking through the crowded streets of London or leaning your head against a coach window needing to pass the time, Mirrors will spark your imagination.
I was walking through London trying to catch a train listening to Cusco Street Scene and it gave me the impression that a busy street wherever you are in the world is always the same. Certain things obviously change from place to place, but something captured in the song connected them all. The sounds of Cusco felt completely familiar in the heart of London.
Another interesting element to the album is the inclusion of songs like Sound Of The River (feat. Sylvia Falcón) and Cunumicita (performed by Danitse). The latter track may have been recorded by Mala, but he did not play with it very much and remains largely untouched. As the listener we are given a raw, heartfelt piece of music that lies completely outside of what we expect when listening to Mala, a producer/DJ known predominantly for his work in dubstep. In an interview he mentions that going to Peru was a freeing experience for his music. This certainly comes through in the multi-layered mountains and caves within this brand new record.
Above all, The Calling tops the album’s charts for me. It entwines the head-rocking rhythm of underground UK dubstep with a serenade of contemplative guitar and a decent helping of cowbell. The vibe is fluid and the atmosphere is created by long digital pads produced in Mala’s studio in London that rise into Peruvian guitar-work.
Glad to finally listen to Mirrors too? Let’s talk about it! Let us know your thoughts in the comments: