Barely a single breakbeat producer of the mid-'90s has stuck to that formula, so it's hardly a surprise that DJ Vadim would branch out even farther than his hip-hop records of the late '90s and 2000s (and, after all, five years had elapsed since his last production album). Moved to BBE, which is a natural fit even compared to his old label Ninja Tune, Vadim keeps a few things the same -- he still shows himself as one of the brightest and best producers in electronica. The big change for The Soundcatcher is Vadim's embrace of Jamaican forms -- ragga and dub to go along with the downbeat and hip-hop. The other is his prominent use of session musicians, including excellent keys by Daniel Muschinsky. Vadim begins the record with dubwise soul on "Talk to Me" and "Them Say" (both with guest female vocalists) before moving smoothly to Abstract Rude's rap feature on "Soundcatchers." "Kill Kill Kill" has it all, beginning with Big Red's speedy but rhythmic French ragga-rap and mixing in Kathrin DeBoer's soulful vocal. Elsewhere, John Ellis' valuable sideman role pays off toward the end when Vadim taps him to deliver the spoken word "Milwaukee," a great feature. The thing that set Vadim apart on his early records was his ear for intriguing sounds. Now, even though he's moved on from ambient-breakbeat to dub and hip-hop, his music is still striking. By the time Vadim's ready to say goodbye, with the roots reggae homage "Watch That Sound" (which would have done Ken Boothe proud), The Soundcatcher is revealed as simply his latest collection of magnificent productions.
|Label:||Bbe / Beat Gen|