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Mala

Mala In Cuba

Mala
To listen to Mala In Cuba with the knowledge that it's the product of one of the godfathers of dubstep is to realize how the genre has changed in the last ten years. The product of a life-changing journey to Cuba, in conjunction with Gilles Peterson's Havana Cultura project, this contains no wobbly bass or centrifugal breakdowns. It is the best electronic extrapolation of the beauty and subtlety of one of the world's great rhythm nations since Bill Laswell's Imaginary Cuba almost 15 years ago. Mala In Cuba treads familiar ground, process-wise, by stitching up disconnected samples of live jams, but succeeds entirely on the basis of Mala's finely developed personal sense of groove. It's impossible not to move while listening to this record. "Changuito" takes all that is wonderful, dynamic and polyrhythmic about master percussionists and marries it to a subsonic bass that welcomes rather than assaults the listener. Less furious tracks like "Como Como" have a chilled vibe that never comes close to the stasis of trip-hop. Best of all, this sounds like the kind of rhythmic experimentation modern-day Cuban artists seek to achieve, so this is no mere trip to an all-inclusive rhythm resort. (Brownswood)
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