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DJ Vadim USSR... The Art of Listening Review

Album. Released 1 October 2002.  

BBC Review

Russian expat DJ Vadim returns with a composition of the world's more diverse and...

Will Sansom 2002

Despite being an album firmly grounded in salt of the earth hip hop, The Art of Listening is a composition of the world's more diverse and eclectic sounds, resulting in a musical canvas that stretches the imagination. Sometimes it's a bit uneasy on the ear, but it wouldn't be art if it had all been heard before. This album educates. Recognising the globe and the underground talent that inhabit it.

Vadim's showcase opens with "Till Suns in your Eye", a smoker of an opener that drops a bass line that will leave you with no choice but to upgrade your speakers. Either that or rock it in your best mate's ride. Sit back and watch passing pedestrians bounce off each other. The bass will send a depth charge down your high street. Motion Man drawls in a vegetative state. He is no doubt a good friend of the Buddha.

Ade Soma offers a truly mellow vocal to compliment the first class percussion instrumental on "Too Fun Aiye". Sat opposite the uplifiting and optimistic mantras are the ruff militant chants of Demolition Man on the stick 'n' move style, "Who Me". The experimental lyrical steez and production methods present on Killa Kella's "Revelations Well Expounded" are in contrast to the rest of the album's classic hip hop ingredients - crisp beats & tight emcees. Gift of Gab, Task Force and TTC are all present on USSR...

On "Ghetto Rebels" the Phi Life Cypher crew perform a governmental health check and unsurprisingly diagnose a state of emergency. Their propagation of everything political pulses steadily through the veins of the bluesy hammond organ backdrop.

The stand out track of the album "It's On", features Vakill spitting enough lyrical ammunition to sink any passing battle-cat. Droppin' plenty of jewels, so listen out or you might miss a treasure'. Vadim's stop-start beats and oriental loops blend seamlessly together with shrill and delirious vocal samples, add Vakill's vocal flow and it's a tough combination.

A bonus feature of "It's On" is the accompanying video from the hands of British directing talent, Sam Arthur. It features bad-ass bunnies bustin baseball bats and pump action water pistols. Not to mention the tricycle riding rodent wielding a shot gun. The streets is crazy yo, that is unless your name's "Thumpa". You'd best give this album a listen, you might learn a thing or two.

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