DJ Vadim is a prolific DJ and producer, born in Leningrad, USSR (now Saint Petersburg, Russia), raised in London and currently residing in both New York and Berlin, whose music combines hip hop, soul, reggae and electronica. He has been described as "one of the few artists creating genuinely new work in the Hip-Hop field" and an artist who "cannot be ignored".
In 1994, Vadim founded his own independent record label, Jazz Fudge, but signed to Ninja Tune the following year, before his current label BBE, in 2007. Aside from DJ-ing and producing, he has also worked as in A&R and promotion, as well as a radio presenter on the BBC's "Around The World In Eight Relays" programme.
Throughout his career he has worked with a variety of musicians, singers and groups, including DJ Krush, Stevie Wonder, The Roots, Prince, Public Enemy, Dilated Peoples, Kraftwerk, Sly and the family stone, Fat Freddys Drop, Super Furry Animals, and Paul Weller. He is also known for having worked with a number of unsigned artists who later went on to find commercial success.
In addition to his regular album releases, he has also recorded under the names "Andre Gurov" and "Little Aida" and has appeared as a member of the various artists project The Isolationist. He is also the DJ and producer for Spanish hip hop group 7 Notas 7 Colores, and, in 2001, was nominated alongside them at the Latin Grammy Awards.
His album, USSR: Life From The Other Side featured Scratch Perverts, Iriscience (from Dilated Peoples), Blade and Yarah Bravo. To promote the record, Vadim put together a live group - The Russian Percussion - consisting of Mr Thing (turntables), Killa Kela (beat box), Blu Rum 13 (MC), John Ellis (keyboards). The tour consisted of 200 live shows taking in twenty four countries throughout Europe and North America.
His central project for 2005-6 was DJ-ing for the hip-hop group One Self, with MCs Yarah Bravo and Blu Rum 13. The first One Self album, Children of Possibility, was released on September 20, 2005. His latest album, Don't Be Scared (BBE, 2012) was praised for the "inventiveness of the beats" (incorporating dubstep, breaks, bhangra, Afrobeat and vintage house) by Q reviewer Paul McGee who rated it 4/5 and tagged "The One to Buy!"
He has made many remixes from The Cure, Erykah Badu, Alice Russell, Paul Weller, Prince, and CL Smooth.
On average he performs 170-180 shows a year and has played in over 63 countries.
DJ Vadim composes both music for MCs, singers and poets and soulful instrumental hip-hop beats. In both cases, certain stylistic trends emerge;
Dominating rhythmic percussion, heavy use of drum programming which are sometimes broken or stuttering, heavy bass and synthesizer use.,
Organic, soulful touches often using studio musicians, with undertones of roots reggae and ragga and driving, hip-hop drum orchestration.,
Original sounding compositions, arrangements that fuse many genres from hip-hop and electronica to soul and reggae.,
Heavy use of ethnic sounds, including Asian, South American and African.,
"Anyone recalling Sly & Robbie's mid-80s exercises in electro-dub fusion might see DJ Vadim's latest as almost an update of that aesthetic," Paul McGee wrote in Q, reviewing Don't Be Scared LP (2012).