Mala and Coki have been tearing up the growing Dubstep scene since their first release on Big Apple Records The Pathways”- now somewhat of an anthem) and these days you’ll rarely find yourself at a dubstep event without hearing the unmistakable basslines and samples of Digital Mystikz.
Alongside like-minders Loefah and Kode 9, the Digital Mystikz successfully broke this indefinable sound out of the low-ceiling, low-light environments of many garage joints into the high-octane sheen of The End at last months Rephlex bash. I caught up with the South London Souljah’s after a hard days work to chat about labeling, lack of sleep and the science of sound.
So, how do you guys find time for your music around the 9-5 day?
Coki: For me, it’s more family life that keeps me away…. You get up, 9-5 you do your thing, come home and you’ve got a little kid to look after. Then it gets to about 9 o’clock, and I’m tired. There’s really no time apart from weekends. That’s when I try and do something.
Mala: Just don’t sleep- I probably average 5 hours sleep, go to bed around three o’clock. What I do during the day and how it makes me feel is what goes into the music. It’s my expression, my feelings, it’s my release.
Coki: Expression is something that’s needed in life like water is needed.
Sorry to flog a dead horse, but what’s your reaction to the confusion surrounding garage genre handles? Do you guys make dubstep or grime? Does it matter?
C: Who ever produces a sound, it’s their sound. You can’t say that it comes under a certain label because that description is more well known. At the end of the day, the labels question shouldn’t even be asked.
M: People are always gonna call it different things, I suppose it’s more marketable that way. It is what it is. The person who wrote it, wrote it. Might come with a different sound on a different day, but it’s come from the same person, so what do you call it then?
C: Wiley, he was having the same problem.
Most Dubstep seems to be coming out of Croydon and South London. Is there a reason for this?
M: It’s surprising that it’s all around here. There might be people in other areas making something that would be called the same ting but it just aint getting heard. I dunno though… Loefah, Hatcha, Benny Ill, Plasticman, Skream, Benga are all round here. It’s a weird one. It might be something the government put in the water round these parts!!
C: I guess what you’re saying goes with the label thing. A couple of people come outta the same area, thier beats don’t even sound the same really and truly.
What would you say are the greatest influences on your music?
M: I don’t think about these things. It’s a subconscious ting. As far as music, if I start saying one name, then I gotta say ’em all! I like all different kinds of music definitely. Vocals, instrumentals, traditional instruments, electronic shit, virtual shit… I just love sound at the end of the day. Sound and what you can do with it. People kinda take it for granted, but if you think about the science of sound, it’s deep you know? It never fails to amaze me.
How do you two work as a collective?
M: [Smiles] What do u think? It’s a natural ting for definite. We don’t really think about it. [Looks at Coki], We don’t think about a lot do we?!!
C: Obviously there’s a process that we go through when we make a beat. We can’t really describe it though. There’s so many little things going on. It’s endless.
Do you ever argue about beats?
M: Argue? Nah, sometimes you might think, “Can’t really work with that!” It doesn’t sound right to the ear.
C: It’s like, “that no mek it boss.”
M: So you come out and then you move on. You can’t force anything. I don’t just sit here and then all of a sudden I’ve finished something. It’s a deep inner thing. That’s why some people have hundreds of beats that they don’t finish. Some things aren’t meant to be finished.
Do you ever return to stuff you haven’t finished?
M: Not really. Sometimes you might open it and try and revamp it and shit, but it’s always about starting a new beat.
C: Always come with the freshness!!
What are your thoughts on the scene in general? What do you think about DnB heads jumping on to it?
M: The direction can’t really be controlled. Whoever’s gonna get in to it, is gonna get into it. It’s there for anyone.
Will it stick around?
M: There’s obvious interest- you can tell that by the internet and you see different people coming down and checking out different places. At the end of the day, you gotta enjoy it you know? I enjoy being able to create music. The fact that it can be played on a loud system…I’m lucky. Gotta give thanks for that.
So you two aren’t gonna be making DnB or anything like that?
M: Just come with music man.
What does the future hold for Digital Mystikz?
M: Only God Knows.
Assignment & Evidence: Georgina Cook (originally published in Undercover Magazine)
DMZ:001. TWISUP/B/CHAINBA AVAILABLE NOW @ ALL GOOD RECORD STORES
DMZ:002. LOST CITY/JAH FIRE/HORROR SHOW/TEN DREAD COMMANDMENTS OUT NOW