Vivien Goldman makes a striking first impression. When I first entered her classroom, she addressed the students wearing plaid checkered pants and a black shirt with flames coming up from the bottom and the word “Jamaica” written in rasta-colored Coca Cola script. She introduced herself as the “Punk Professor,” a name she picked up at New York University that references her background as a North-West London anti-establishment musician and NME writer. She lived with the avant-garde punks at London’s Ladbroke Grove and on Bob Marley’s compound at 56 Hope Road in Kingston—she later wrote a biography of that reggae icon. Her latest work is an LP, Resolutionary, that compiles output from her years as a member of the wave-y dub-influenced band The Flying Lizards and as a collaborator with dub legend Adrian Sherwood and dub techno pioneer Moritz von Oswald.
Those latter two producers connect Goldman to contemporary dance music, and to Mala. He’s a seminal contributor to the sound that is now known as “dubstep.” The South Londoner entered UK sound system culture around when Goldman left for New York. As a teenager he got involved with the local jungle and drum ‘n’ bass scene, which later informed his work as a member of the groundbreaking dubstep crew and record label DMZ. He now travels the world infusing his sound with influences from other cultures and countries. After releasing Mala In Cuba, an album that fused 140 BPM beats with Cuban rhythms and instrumentation, he’s presented Mirrors, an album recorded in Peru. His outernational leanings and roots in London’s rich history of sound system music makes him part of the same lineage as the Punk Professor, and with both of them offering landmark releases, we figured there was no better time to unite them.
Check out the full conversation with Mala and Vivien Goldman over at Electronic Beats.