DJ Vadim is as prolific as he is eclectic. His far reaching sound has previously come courtesy of his own Jazz Fudge Records, Boxfresh Records and Ninja Tune, and now this, his tenth album, finds a home on the ever dependable BBE Records.
His label describes Don’t Be Scared as ‘twisted dancehall crunked bass lines meeting traditional African rhythms in a Bollywood cinema; lush strings and grand pianos sitting next to haunting morphed keyboards.’ But this isn’t sloppy, cut-and-paste, smoked out flavour. Instead, a true innovator in beat culture, Vadim’s unlikely source material is sampled and spliced with razor sharp precision.
This man is a rhythm fiend. In just over an hour, Vadim traverses rocky terrain between hip-hop, dubstep and grime with each new beat swelling or stripping bare in ever unpredictable directions. His well-chosen guests add colour to this shuffling bedrock: Gregory Blackman brings soulful harmony to ‘I’m Feeling You’, Jazz Bailey adds a dubwise flavour to ‘Lost My Love’ and ‘Take Me Time’ and long-time partner Yarah Bravo spits her irresistible bravado on ‘Leader’ and ‘Closed Eyes’. And those listeners wise enough to cop the physical product will be treated to the secret recipe for Daddy Vad’s Spicy Mango Fish Casserole. The full package indeed from this boundary-busting beatsmith.