Personnel: DJ Vadim (keyboards, synthesizer, turntables).
Audio Mixer: Big Al Mawdsley.
Editor: DJ Vadim.
Photographer: Patrick Dean.
Whether working on his own or as the DJ for renowned reggae/soul outfit Fat Freddy's Drop, DJ Vadim has established a reputation for eclecticism and forward thinking, and this album will strengthen that reputation. Its fundamental tracks are based on jam sessions with artists like Fat Freddy's Drop, Trinity Roots, fLako, and Michael Kiwanuka, and the resulting material was further refined during multiple globetrotting excursions. You'll hear hints and shadings of his travels throughout these tracks: the West Midlands grime of "This DJ" (featuring the excellent MC JMan); the slow and bandy-legged groove undergirding scratchy Southeast Asian vocal samples on "Hide n' Seek" and "Bally Umar," and the reggae-inflected "Set Them Free." There's also plenty of dubstep and neo-soul (note the very fine vocal cameo from Greg Blackman on "I'm Feeling U"), and unfortunately, there are also some de rigueur sketches and waste-of-time spoken word interludes, but not too many of them. There are also one or two disappointments, including "Set Me Free," which offers nice vocals from Sabira Jade but a rather lightweight groove. Skip that one and focus on the fun and bouncy "Akura Uprock" and the wry "Leader" by the brilliantly pushy Yarah Bravo. ~ Rick Anderson