Earlier this summer, I had the chance to speak with Mala, a DJ, producer, promotor and record label owner from south London, who over the last decade, has played a central role in the development of the dubstep scene. Both his own productions as Mala, and those as Digital Mystikz alongside Coki, are sited as some of the key releases that defined those early days of the genre, and his record label, Deep Medi, has catalogued releases from many of the scene's innovators over the past 11 years. His now legendary club night, DMZ, alongside FWD, has played a seminal role in incubating the genre from it's early form through to today.
Despite dubstep's ever-morphing progression and partial shift into the mainstream through EDM, Mala has remained true to his own personal vision. He's expanded his horizons, and developed both as an artist and a person through his solo album projects which explore the musical and cultural traditions of other countries, firstly Cuba in 2011, and now Peru, fusing them with his south London sound system-focused productions.
In this episode of Sound Motives, we explore Mala's early influences from jungle to Augustus Pablo, his perspectives on the emergence of dubstep, his relationship with the dance floor and club culture, and how the future looks.