If the Internet is to be trusted, DJ Vadim has played in sixty-three different countries, which clearly makes him the Philleus Fogg of electronic music.
But, despite having seen – and heard – so much on his travels, he’s certain that London still has the best scene.
“I think musically speaking, your environment shapes what you’re into,” he says, “Hence people who grow up in Kansas listen to what they do, and people in Kazakhstan listen to that, and in London, we have possibly the best music scene in the world… and believe me I’ve been everywhere. We have everything here. They don’t have that in NYC or LA, they are great cities, but I think that London’s depth and choice of music – from pop to underground – is insurmountable.”
We have the city to thank for his vast repertoire of beats, remixes and experimentations – the same ones that have attracted the attention of artists as diverse as Kraftwerk, The Roots, Stevie Wonder, The Bug and Dilated Peoples. “That mix of dirty beats basslines jazz, trip hop reggae etc has in many ways influenced the kind of producer I am,” he says.
Vadim is a true globe-trotter. He was born in St. Petersburg but his youth was spent in London. After six years living in New York and Berlin, he returned to the UK, setting up home in East London, the Capital’s all engulfing creative hub (where else!).
This weekend, he’s headlining Soundcrash’s event at Koko, which he promises will have a bit of the pizzazz that enveloped his local area over the last few weeks. “It will be something more spectacular than the Danny Boyle Olympic Opening Ceremony – but something that will cost you only a minute amount of the £27 million he got!”
The show will also be a chance for him to catch up with some of his peers with equally busy international schedules. “It’s gonna be great. I ain’t seen Format since doing Soundwave Festival in 2010 in Croatia.”
When asked if there are any new artists on his radar, his mind goes blank. “It’s funny because I am supposed to be a guru on new music being a DJ and what not, but I can’t remember anything.
“What I would say is back in the day there were artists who created albums, nowadays it seems there are a lot of people who can make a hot song but that rarely stretches to a whole album. I really Live DVA, Mala, Zinc, he is killing it like forever, Zed Bias, Omar is so underrated it’s criminal, Dub Phizix… I’m looking forward to the Kendrick Lemar album. Yarah Bravo, SBTRKT smacked it, Tall Black Guy, Pugs Atomz.”
Later this year, he’ll be busy promoting his new album, Don’t Be Scared which is slated for release in early October. “It’s basically a bit darker, heavier bass wise and a bit more spacey than previous incarnations.” He’s also been busy remixing songs from previous LP The Soundcatcher. “It feels good to update tracks that still work,” he says.
Vadim plays hundreds of shows a year, but there are some that stay fresh in his mind. “Two that stick out are Paris at Noveau Casino like three years ago when I crowd dived, and also the first Soundwave in Petracana in 2009. I also crowd dived there, during DJ Yoda’s set!”
But, the best DJ Vadim gig would definitely be if he was able to transport himself back in time to the 1700s. “I would take my records, set up a friggin’ Channel One sized soundsystem in the middle of Trafalgar Square and scare the shit out of everyone with my bass!”
DJ Vadim plays Soundcrash, Saturday 18th August 2012. Click here for tickets.
- Kara Simsek