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For years, Martin Clark aka Blackdown Soundboy’s blogspot address has functioned as both a central point for some of the most current, self-defining journalism in dance music and a treasure trove of garage, grime, dubstep (and beyond) history, including mixes, interviews and retrospectives on the scene’s seminal nights, conflicts and successes. For me, the site has offered a pin prick camera view into the demise of late 1990s garage, the rise of dubstep and the proliferation of grime. It offered a gateway into the spread, mutation and peculiarities of the music I now hold close to my heart and which, at the time, I was unable to connect with due to age, geography and a shit modem connection. Recurring characters like Skream, Kode9 and DJ Target have become familiar, despite the fact that the majority of the articles were written five-plus years ago. Today marks the 10th anniversary of the site, which will hopefully continue to function as an unofficial register of 2000s ‘nuum culture for years to come, and Clark has uploaded an absolute classic of a mix from FWD>> (@ Plastic People) featuring Mala b2b Loefah and the inimitable SFT Pokes on mic duties.

Having never been to Plastic People, attended a FWD>> night, or step foot in East London, it’s difficult to gage exactly what Clark means when he refers to this set as the “best live dubstep set I’ve ever heard recorded,” but despite the inherent cognitive dissonance of listening to a set so firmly set in a specific temporal realm, its eminence is as easily recognizable as any other “scene defining” mix, song, album or live performance. Clark included his own version of live blogging to round out the 10th anniversary celebration, offering up memories, commentary and context to Mala & Loefah’s selections. If you’re not familiar with Clark, Blackdown Soundboy or the label, Keysound Recordings, he runs in tandem with Dusk, cut a few hours from your day and browse back through the annals of the Blackdown Soundboy blogspot.

Download: Mala b2b Loefah ft SGT Pokes live at FWD>> 01.06.06

mala

It’s a party, it’s a party, it’s a party. Recently, dubstep dundodda Mala got behind the decks to turn in a  BBC Radio One Essential Mix and did not disappoint. Naturally, Mala threw in his fair share of dubplates and exclusives including the legendary “Anti-War Dub VIP”, but the highlight of the set came at the very end when he dropped James Blake’s (as Harmonimix) long awaited remix of “Maybes”, which has been floating around in various lo-fi forms for nearly two years now. The track still does not have a release date, but this is the first quality rip we’ve received since it was first debuted. Don’t just skip to the end though. Turn the lights off, light one up, let the speakers rattle and let Mala take you on a two hour journey.

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I’ll admit it, I wasn’t in South London in the early 2000’s to witness the rise of Digital Mystikz. I regret it, but after all I was pre-pubescant and lived 6,000 miles away. I can also admit that the first Dubstep I was introduced to was of the much maligned aggro variety. It wasn’t until the past two years that I’ve delved into the UK’s deep bin of Dubstep, but better late than never, right? Today, Mala let loose a stream of his upcoming Mala in Cuba and fuck is it good. The man has not lost a step. “Changuito” rivals anything else that could possibly be played in a club right now and every track on the album melds traditional Cuban rhythm with Mala’s ever-evolving sound. Stream below and grab the album on September 10 via Brownswood Recordings.