DJ Vadim knows a thing or two about pushing boundaries. Producing 35 albums over the last 17 years, he continues to break new ground as an audio pioneer, and it’s safe to say that DJ Vadim is an original G of musical exploration.
Now, he has something he wants to say: Don’t Be Scared. More than just the name of his latest LP (released on BBE last year), Don’t Be Scared is the philosophy this Soviet Bloc-born, London-based turntablist and producer lives by. “I always want to try new things, explore new ideas… it’s hard because the reality is artists are constrained all the time by media, fans, industry, fear of trying new things. It’s easy to say ‘go with the flow’; most artists I have met stick to a formula. For example, dubstep people only work at 140/70 bpm. Ask them to do something at 160 or 90 bpm, and you will 95% of the time get a blank face. Same goes with house cats, techno, hip hop etc. – I want to break out of that.” This is what sets DJ Vadim apart. Colliding together genres of electronic, hip hop and sound bites throughout the new album, the man behind the decks, Andre Gurov, destroys all musical boundaries, instead shaping out a new form of infectious rhythm with a style all its own. “Lost My Love” draws on soul music layered over a rich bass beat usually found in West Coast dubstep, then accented with synths and topped off with a generous serving of voice mail messages. An early 1950s television track launches “Lemon Haze” before dissolving away into a pounding rhythm accented by sampled rap, wrapped up in an ethereal synth-heavy melody, and ending in an irresistible blend of funk and house that makes it impossible not to dance.
Influenced in his early days by artists like Marley Mark, DJ Muggs, Public Enemy, DJ Krush and Portishead, now it’s Gurov’s turn to inspire. His message to kids making music in their mom’s basement on their laptops: “Do it cause you love it, do it for yourself, regardless of whatever anyone else says. Be original. And find your own style. Originality is the key to your success.” In other words? Don’t be scared.
DJ Vadim makes his last North American tour stop before heading back to Europe, at Fortune Sound Lounge in Vancouver, BC on February 17th.
By Liz GoodeBC, British Columbia