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

Madness: Complete Madness (Union Square/Triton)

Madness: Complete Madness (Union Square/Triton)

When the so-called "2 Tone Revolution" appeared in Britain in the late Seventies/early Eighties -- ska music, white shirts and black suits -- of all the bands in the vanguard, Madness... > Read more

Volcano Choir: Unmap (Jagjaguwar)

Volcano Choir: Unmap (Jagjaguwar)

This album was on repeat play while I was at my desk and after a few times through I thought it one of those projects where people just make a interesting noise but haven't actually got a tune that... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Mei Han and Red Chamber: Classical and Contemporary Chinese Music (ARC Music)

Mei Han and Red Chamber: Classical and Contemporary Chinese Music (ARC Music)

For Western ears, the sound of Chinese music falls into cliché (“Oh, Chinese music . . . riiight.”) or something so discordant (traditional opera) that it's easy to dismiss on a... > Read more

THE MANGANIYAR SEDUCTION: From religion and red light

THE MANGANIYAR SEDUCTION: From religion and red light

Inspiration doesn't always come in the proverbial flash. It may emerge over a period from a number of disparate sources, as it did for Roysten Abel and his theatrical staging of The Manganiyar... > Read more