Wednesday, 24 June 2009

DJ Vadim_ U Can’t Lurn Imaginashun

DJ Vadim first entered the consciousness through the Ninja Tunes camp and a definite association with trip hop, a genre so steeped in the nineties I last saw it down the Blue note sporting Carharrt jeans and Nike Huaraches.

Judging by the press release, time has not been kind to Vadim, encountering as he has a string of personal misadventures, including mass bereavement and ocular melanoma (eye cancer). Musically, however this purple patch seems to have invigorated the artist formerly known as Russia favourite cut n paste hero (probably)

Whilst being rather unsure of it role, this album showcases admirably Vadim exemplary production skills, and love for the bass driven end of black music in all its forms.

Schizophrenically switching styles from roots reggae to straight up breaks, via clipped hip hop and soul, the album meanders ingeniously but tastefully across a myriad of musical styles.

Opening with the laidback guitar led ‘Soldier’, lets the album down as the righteous roots vibe recalls a dozen student gaffs thick with the smell of cheap draw. The album soon moves into darker territory with the Kraftwerk meets Jammy’s uptown vibe of ‘Imaginashun’ (and yes this IS a good thing.) Digital dub as genre is about as fashionable as Piers Morgan, but Vadim carries it well, keeping tight to the groove with falling off into noodling territory.

Things get interesting again later on with the instrumental goodness of ‘Game tight’ beautifully sampling ‘Nadia’s Theme’ also used by a certain Miss J Blige, and the bouncy soulful closing jam ‘Hidden Treasure’, what’s known as a ‘banger’ and definitely the highlight of the record.

A few dodgy vocal performances aside, this is a real summer party record, Vadim has managed to throw off the clichés of his past and overcome his personal demons to create, not quite a masterpiece, but certainly a worthy record. Worth Checking.

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