Always too funky, vibrant and progressing in all kinds of directions, DJ Vadim is never listed among your regular trip-hop staples, and yet I bet every trip-hop fan has a few of his tracks in their collection. Today the creator of timeless favorites like “The Terrorist” and “Your Revolution” is talking to trippin’ the rift about old friends and new beginnings.
tipkin – First thing first – new label! Exciting… and probably a bit scary? What made you want to start your own label? Who came up with the name?
Vadim – It’s all about control. Labels have full diaries, so often you have to wait a long time before the record can be released. That can take the urgency and the now out of a release. We’ve got a good team around us so we wanted to all work together on the release and do everything the way we wanted to. The name Organically Grown Sounds was Yarah [Bravo]’s idea – One Self created an EP called Organically Grown EP and we eat very wholesomely at home!
t. – About the new band – how would the sound of The Electric differ from just DJ Vadim on his own or from One Self? Is this going to be a long-term thing or is it just a bunch of friends deciding to get together to make a record?
V. – Good question. When it’s DJ Vadim, it’s just me and different people I invite, but the direction of any given track can sweep from reggae to instrumental beats to rap to… The Electric, it’s much more focused. It’s the same voices on every track so it’s not like a compilation. Musically it’s a progression of where I was before!
As for how if differs from One Self. Sabira [Jade] is a singer and not a rapper. Yarah is a rapper and not a singer. Also the sound is different too. The music I was listening to in 2004 making that album is different to what I listen to now. Music has moved onwards…
t. – You are one of the most prolific DJ’s out there. Where does inspiration come from?
V. – Life, friends, traveling, meeting people, listening to new music, being challenged… I love what I do and do what I love.
t. – I’ve been always fascinated by your ability to touch political/social issues in your music and at the same time to write feel-good tunes. Is it hard to keep that balance?
V. – That’s just a personal thing I’m into. I have always been interested in politics and social causes. Fighting injustice. So I’m a big supporter of people like Amnesty International, Greenpeace, NSPCC, NSPCA etc. If it wasn’t for AI, Yarah‘s parents whould possibly of been executed in South America by puppet dictators put into power by the CIA… But I’m no Chuck D or Immortal Technique. They are amazing but my mission is not the preacher. More like a teacher and entertainer. Like KRS-One said – ‘edutainment’. Education and entertainment. I just do it. Have fun and try to express deeper issues too!
t. – How do you feel about being associated with trip-hop music (among other genres)? What is trip-hop to you?
V. – When that term came out in 94 or so, I hated it. It just sounded really bad and stale like mullets and clogs on German truck drivers. I tried really hard not to be labeled that. I wanted to be so down with hip-hop. That’s all I could think of. Nowadays I don’t give a flying tahoot what people say. All I want is that people come to listen. I just make beats. Always have. What it’s described as differs by whom reviews it, their experience, preferences, country they live in, views… Really and truly, a lot of musics are very related if you break it down to their building blocks – keys, bass, paterns, riddims, vocals, chorus etc… What’s the difference between DJ Shadow and space rock in the 70’s? Well shows drums are louder… What’s the difference between heavy metal and some dub step… Well, sometimes very little.
t. – You tour A LOT. What are some of the favorite places to play? Something that I witnessed during your show in Chicago – there was a group of Russian immigrants, sitting by the bar all dressed up in suits and cocktail dresses who obviously had no idea who you were and just came to see “a Russian DJ”. Do thing like that happen often?
V. – Sometimes, but I’m trying to drop this whole ‘Russian’ thing. It’s about music and not your or my nationality. I think regardless whom you go to see, whether it’s Bassnectar, A-Trak, Diplo, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Shadow,… if you asked each person why they were there, not everyone would say – ’cause I’m the biggest fan… I was on tour with Bassnectar and he is undoubtly humongous in the USA but I asked some people in the crowd, and some people just came ’cause it’s the party to come that night.
My favorite places – France is great, New Zealand, Brazil, Chile, Korea, China, West Coast… Everywhere really. Russia is great too. St. Pete especially.
t. – And speaking of touring – are we to expect The Electric world tour? When will your fans in the US and in Russia have a pleasure to see you (in any incarnation)?
V. – USA in April, and Russia, not sure. People are asking but nothing confirmed as of yet…
Visit DJ Vadim‘s fresh new label Organically Grown Sounds and enjoy these great gifts from him and his talented friends:
A music pack loaded with goodies from Vadim himself and The Electric.
DJ Vadim – “Winter Wax” mix