Almost unbelievably, this performance by UK dubstep giant Mala at the Vagabond comes just a day after his colleague Skream's gig around the corner at White Room. Miami aficionados of the genre might not have to go out again for a long time. And lest you totally miss the boat on dubstep's impending takeover of the downtown scene, here's a little primer on Mala. Dubstep as a genre arose around the turn of the millennium, when the ashes of drum 'n' bass were largely settling into the poppier sounds of garage and two-step. There was an unfortunate yearlong period when all the best d'n'b DJs seemed to be spinning candy-coated R&B remixes. Early dubsteppers went the opposite direction, though, taking the nastiest sounds of the last tech-step drum 'n' bass and slowing it down, almost to half-speed.

Luckily, a few years later, Mala and like-minded acts came around to inject the soul back into it. As part of the Digital Mystikz crew, Mala and partner Coki went back even to the beginning of jungle, taking that genre's dub and reggae influences and dragging them back into the future. Dubstep's bass lines got heavier and heavier, and vocal snippets and melodies came back. And over the past five years or so, Mala's star has only risen. Digital Mystikz is now one of the genre's flagship labels, as is its same-named weekly party in Brixton, London.


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