Mala is the work of Mark Lawrence, a London based dubstep producer behind the DMZ label and club.
Lawrence travelled to Peru to record Peruvian musicians and used these recordings as source material for the album in a similar way to how he’d found his source material from Cuban musicians on 2012’s Mala in Cuba (which is now also on my list).
The album sounds exactly as you would expect traditional local Peruvian music manipulated by an electronic dubstep producer to sound! Samples of pan pipes and guitars combined with a low end and choppy beats as in the opener “Kotos”.
But there is more to it than that, it’s a mellow album with a lot of space and a lot of detail, and there’s some interesting uses of samples throughout the fourteen tracks. There are also three vocal tracks including the lovely “Cunumicita” with it’s minimal deep bass line.
All in all a mellow and interesting listen.
Favourite tracks: “Cusco Street Scene”, “Shadows”, “Cunumicita”, “Take Flight”, “Loony”, “Sound of the River”.