Editors’ Notes Long before dubstep shook festival main stages around the world, London’s Mala—one half, with Coki, of the duo Digital Mystikz—was laying the genre’s foundation at a small, dark Brixton nightclub, one hand-cut dubplate at a time. Making the most of the club’s earth-quaking sound system, he masterminded a style of minimalist bass pressure that was almost womblike. But that very sense of presence also made Mala leery of performing a Boiler Room set. “I’m not such a fan of seeing somebody mixing in their bedroom,” he tells Boiler Room Radio. “I’d rather go out and experience it.” Finally, after years of requests, he agreed, on two conditions: One, a sound system by Sinai, the Sheffield technicians schooled in the classic Jamaican philosophy of bass pressure. And two, that the lights be dimmed as low as possible. Together, says Mala, that “meant the audience would be able to physically experience the music as if they were coming out to a dance.”

The resulting London session, recorded in 2015, went on to become Boiler Room’s most popular dubstep set of all time, and for good reason. Recorded at a moment when American-style dubstep was ebbing yet interest in the music’s South London origins was arguably higher than ever, it is both a history lesson in the genre’s roots and a snapshot of its enduring essence. Goth-Trad’s eerie, bit-crushed “Sunbeam VIP” gets dropped for the first time ever, and contemporary tracks from Jack Sparrow and Kahn showcase the music’s otherworldly sonics, but some of the most powerful moments are the looks back at tunes like Digital Mystikz’s timeless 2007 anthem “Anti War Dub,” an eloquent expression of dubstep’s spiritual heart. As bass music mutates beyond where it was in 2015, Mala isn’t surprised by the set’s continued popularity. “People are looking back at the roots,” he says, philosophically. “That frequency still exists.” Some styles wax and others wane, but the essence of dubstep’s origins remains vital, like a heartbeat. With characteristic understatement, he muses, “It’s just cycles, man.”

SONG
Commentary (from Boiler Room: Mala in London, Oct 27, 2015) [Mixed]
1
0:30
 
Blind Man (Mixed)
2
2:52
 
Commandment (Mixed)
3
2:39
 
Sunbeam VIP (Mixed)
4
3:41
 
Justice (Mixed)
5
2:39
 
Where Am I (Mixed)
6
3:32
 
Kalawanji (feat. Cessman) [Mixed]
7
2:58
 
ID1 (from Boiler Room: Mala in London, Oct 27, 2015) [Mixed]
8
1:45
 
ID2 (from Boiler Room: Mala in London, Oct 27, 2015) [Mixed]
9
2:12
 
Pocosink (Commodo Remix) [Mixed]
10
2:59
 
Miracles (Commodo Remix) [Mixed]
11
2:35
 
Changes (Mixed)
12
1:44
 
Weh Dem a Do (Coki-Digital Mystikz & Underground Ice Remix) [Mixed]
13
1:59
 
ID3 (from Boiler Room: Mala in London, Oct 27, 2015) [Mixed]
14
4:03
 
Over Deh So (Mixed)
15
2:39
 
Hunter (feat. Flowdan) [Mixed]
16
2:25
 
ID4 (from Boiler Room: Mala in London, Oct 27, 2015) [Mixed]
17
1:56
 
Cay's Crays (Digital Mystikz Remix) [Mixed]
18
3:03
 
Jackhammer (Mixed)
19
2:04
 
Topper Top (feat. Teddy Bruckshot, Lady Chann & Killa P) [Mixed]
20
3:38
 
Abattoir (Mixed)
21
3:21
 
ID5 (from Boiler Room: Mala in London, Oct 27, 2015) [Mixed]
22
3:16
 
Babylon Fall (feat. Max Romeo) [Mixed]
23
5:38
 

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