Mala: Mala in Cuba (Brownswood/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Mala: Revolution
Mala: Mala in Cuba (Brownswood/Southbound)

When UK DJ and Cuban music aficionado Gilles Peterson went back to Havana in May last year to record local musicians (who have appeared on his excellent on-going Havana Cultura series), he took with him South London dubstep pioneer and producer Mala (aka Mark Lawrence of Digital Mystikz) who set himself up in another room beside Peterson's studio and recorded various passing-traffic musicians.

Taking the recordings home, Mala reprocessed them and -- while keeping the integrity of music by such wonderful artists as pianist Roberto Fonseca, singers/world music hotties Sexto Sentido and trip-hop vocalist Danay Suarez -- pulled out this album which bridges contemporary Havana, dub-conscious Jamaica and urban London clubland.

It's a heady if sometimes highly restrained tonic of retro-Seventies keyboards, classy but constrained electro-beats and everywhere a very subtle insinuation of Cuban sounds . . . but fractured through a prism if your knowledge begins and ends with Buena Vista and its offshoots.

It isn't world music as some might know or prefer it, but the world expands and contracts with technology, access and cheap airfares.

This is the Cuban shakedown of the 21st century, inna dubbed-up electronica style.

Maybe a bit safe in places for some, but a different view of Havana for sure. And one which just grabs and holds on.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Salon Kingsadore: Anti-Borneo Magic (Sarang Bang)

Salon Kingsadore: Anti-Borneo Magic (Sarang Bang)

The Auckland Observatory last year was the perfect venue for Salon Kingsadore. While planets shifted and an astral journey past the rings of Saturn played out on the Stardome above, the group... > Read more

Peter Gabriel: Scratch My Back (EMI)

Peter Gabriel: Scratch My Back (EMI)

An album where an artist covers the material of others is hardly a new concept, but you can guess that Peter Gabriel -- the ever sensitive quality controller, with his first album in eight years --... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Odetta: A legend ignored

Odetta: A legend ignored

To be honest, I had largely forgotten about Odetta until she died in 2008 at the age of 77. I imagined her as much older actually as she seemed to have been around since Biblical times, or at least... > Read more

SPOTTED ON SPOTIFY: An endless stream of music

SPOTTED ON SPOTIFY: An endless stream of music

The hills – and elevators, supermarkets and doctors' waiting rooms – are alive with the sound of music. Yet despite being assailed by often unwanted Muzak, most of us still want... > Read more