Friday, 21 December 2012

DJ Vadim - U Can't Lurn Imaginashun

Early in his career, DJ Vadim was a specialist. His specialty was shadowy ambient breakbeat, and it provided some of the highlights to appear on Ninja Tune, which was a very fine label indeed. Since then, he's branched out and matured, able to float all manner of beat-centric forms. That's exactly what happens on U Can't Learn Imaginashun, and virtually every track is the type of high-quality jam that could survive on its own. (It's easy to imagine the praise a DJ would get for his range if he aired the 18 tracks here in a DJ set.) Though he starts with dancehall, Vadim spends a lot of time in hip-hop, but with many variations on the form: classic hip-hop, digitalia, East Coast hardcore, and slow-grind R&B. Vadim also gets the most out of his obscure cast of featured guests, including a pair of serviceable East Coasters named Juice Lee and Rjay, the outre R&B vocalist Sabirajade (who appears on three great tracks, including the deep-grooving "Thrill Seeker"), and Chicago veteran Pugs Atomz (who appears on "Saturday" and "Always Lady," a pair of completely different settings). Oddly enough, the variety on tap can make for a scattered listen, but U Can't Learn Imaginashun  is studded with great tracks.


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