Russian born producer and musician DJ Vadim follows no musical rules, and on his latest album Dubcatcher he has crafted a clever mix of reggae, hip-hop, bashment, soul, funk, dubstep and probably a few other genres too. He’s a genre-bending artist to say the least and has worked with luminaries such as Stevie Wonder, The Roots, Public Enemy, Kraftwerk, Sly & The Family Stone and Paul Weller. In 2002 he was also nominated for a Latin Grammy for his work with Spanish hip-hop group 7 Notas 7 Colores.
Dubcatcher is DJ Vadim’s eleventh studio album and neighbour with recent sets from artists and groups like Mr. Benn, Major Lazer and The Courtney John Project. It’s rich, varied and based around samples and live playing courtesy of Fat Freddy’s Drop and King Porter Stomp.
Even though DJ Vadim has glanced at the history of reggae and hip-hop, he has not tried to recreate roots reggae, dancehall from the 80s and 90s or boom rap. Dubcatcher is not the sound of yesterday, rather the sound of today and tomorrow.
On the set DJ Vadim has invited a notable and interesting list of guest artists, including Jamalski, Demolition Man, Governor Tiggy, Serocee, Katrina Blackstone, YT, Jimmy Screech and Gappy Ranks, on a remix of his single Carpenter. They sometimes fight the propulsive and fat beats, other times they float effortlessly over them delivering pop hooks and catchy melodies.
With Dubcatcher DJ Vadim has delivered a set with unprecedented energy, playful production and impressive vocal efforts, especially Demolition Man’s and Jamalski’s fiery tongue twisting on Badman and Raggamuffin Life respectively.
The UK city of Bristol is probably best known for groundbreaking trippy 90’s bands such as Massive Attack and Portishead. But the reggae scene has also been vital for many years, as shown by the many excellent albums and compilations coming from Bristol Archive Records.
One of the more recent additions on the Bristol reggae scene is Mr Benn, who on his debut album Shake A Leg takes an old school meets new school approach.
The album is an eclectic smorgasbord set with Aswad, The Specials and King Tubby along with various ingredients coming from 90s hip-hop and boom rap, soca, jungle, dancehall, dubstep and bashement.
This vast list of musical influences and guest artists, ranging from UK heavyweighters like Top Cat and Tenor Fly and to newcomers like Eva Lazarus and Nanci Correia, creates a cheerful jump-up vibe directly aimed at setting dance floors worldwide on fire.
And it’s hard to sit still when you play this entertaining album. Your head starts to nod, your feet beings to stomp and suddenly you feel an urge to dim lights, call all your friends and turn up the bass, even if it’s just a boring Thursday afternoon. Then just do it.
And don’ forget to check out the out the free download of a wicked combination with gruff voiced deejay Blackout JA, not included on the album.
Bristol-based producer and DJ Mr Benn recently released Vuvuzela Riddim with lots of honking and irresistible grooves. It’s instrumental, but it’s surely only a matter of time before it’ll be voiced by singers and deejays around the globe.
Mr Benn has previously produced a lot of skankin’ tunes. If you want to get a feel for his sound you can download his great mix Play it Again Mr Benn. This is certainly a great introduction. It’s funky reggae at its core with classic riddims such as Bam Bam mixed with hip hop beats.
He has also collaborated with rock stone voice Blackout JA. Together they have made the brand new tune Police and last year’s Long Time. Check it!