Mala follows two years behind the decks with a move back to the mixing desk, with the astonishingly heavy-in-all-the-right-places rumble in the jungle of Mirrors, released by long time ally and tastemaker of the otherworldly Gilles Peterson on his Brownswood imprint. Mirrored comes eleven years after his first DMZ plate and follows his previous long players; Mala In Cuba and Return II Space. Here he uses the extended length of the album to build a floor-to-ceiling speaker stack on top of previous quests to bridge the gap between the basement soundsystem blues vibes of early DMZ dubstep and audiences further afield, away from the secluded basement parties of South LDN boroughs where he cut his teeth (and dubs), to a bigger platform that can be translated to anywhere in the world where there's a big rig with some bone-shaking subs.
The ideas that come together to form Mirrors, came from Mala's travelling within Peru, gathering influence to make an album that, in the label's words "promises to build a bridge from Croydon to Lima via his laptop". Whilst travelling around Lima, Cusco and the Sacred Valley Mala discovered an array of local sounds that helped him realise his newest vision for an LP of a bass-heavy sound, that has its roots deeper and further afield than most, sculpting out the smokey, heavy-hearted sound that rattles at the core of each track.
Traces of Jamaican dub resonate through each piece with that tribal drum sound that is unmistakably Mala at the controls. There is layers of influence pulled from his surroundings at the time of recording, expertly mixed with a stoned folk vibe branching from local Afro-Peruvian percussionists and grassroots dub plate tap dancers to echos resonating from the mountains and Andean sopranos.
With Mirrors, Mala has found a new avenue for his drum & bass wise sound. One that translates from the first chapters of his sound, 12"s like Ancient Memories and Maintain Thru Madness through to his last LP, Mala In Cuba reverberate though Mirrors. Carrying the torch of his DMZ beginnings to the wider world and using bass as a universal language to bring people together with sub-heavy soundsystem wreckers destined for peak time deployment in the dance from here to eternity. Mirrors reflects the past while showing the direction for a new way forward. Stick it on, light it up and come meditate on bass weight.