Considering the naturalistic spirituality often associated with Mala's earthy dubstep, an exploration into actual "world music," in retrospect, shouldn't come as a surprise—particularly the heavily syncopated shuffle of Cuban music. Hence, we have Mala in Cuba, the announcement of which by Gilles Peterson's Brownswood seemed to momentarily set the internet on fire.
On "Cuba Electronic," dolorous bells and ominous scrapes replace Mala's usual dread chords. The typical bed of flattened, pulsing bass is overlaid with fantastically vivid hand percussion, played with a gentler Cuban sway rather than heavy-handed UK garage swing. Throw in the vivid breakdown, followed by a brutal chug all gently kissed with rippling synth accents, and it's a vibrant blend of the two genres at hand.
The flipside "Calle F" shows off the jazzier side of the album, as an intro of breezy piano and acoustic bass gives way to a similar landscape of carefully arranged percussion. The reverbed piano chords and trumpets only further recall previous experiments like New Forms, and the track has a dulcet and peaceful atmosphere that isn't so much dubstep as downtempo (just ignore the fact that it's rather uptempo).