In support of his new album U CAN’T LURN IMAGINASHUN out now on BBE

June 11: SEBASTOPOL, CA – Hip Hop Monk
June 12: LOS ANGELES, CA – Grand Starr Jazz Club
June 13: SAN DIEGO, CA – Winstons
June 14: FULLERTON, CA – Continental Rooms
June 17: TUSCON, AZ – Club Congress
June 18: PHOENIX / TEMPE, AZ – Blunt Club
TONIGHT > June 19: MADISON, WI – Majestic Theatre
June 20: MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Cabooze
June 22: CHICAGO, IL – Darkroom
June 23: CHICAGO, IL – Fuel
June 26: SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Spectrum Festival, Regency C
June 27: BROOKLYN, NY – Glasslands Gallery

Hidden Treasure video

Vadim prepares for Tour video


“If you want to make beautiful music, you must play the black and the white
notes together.” [Richard M. Nixon]

Not many ­ if any – musical biographies open with quotations from Richard M.
Nixon. But DJ Vadim, a.k.a. the John Coltrane of hip hop, ain¹t exactly your
average Œround-the-way¹ producer. A veteran traveller and quality purveyor
of head-nodding beats, Vadim has 4 solo albums, 2 group albums (One Self;
The Isolationist), a remix album, countless mix tapes/CDs pls EPs, remixes
plus a slew of12s and 7s under his heavyweight belt.

Needless to say, though producer/DJ’s these days are a dime-a-dozen, a
veteran like Vadim is not the kind o¹ cat to release 12 tracks of the latest
in-vogue soul loop. In fact his new album, ³U Can¹t Lurn Imaginashun² is one
of the sickest joints on the block, continuing – and embellishing ­ the
producer¹s inventive journey into the realm of sound. Anyone that knows
anything about Vadim knows to expect the unexpected, and ³UCLI² has
surprises – and dopeness – in abundance.

Which is extra impressive considering the last year has not been Vadim¹s
happiest. ³2008 has been the worst year of my life,² he reveals. ³I went
through the most gut-wrenching emotions due to family trauma and personal
health. My father went partially blind after having three failed cataract
operations. My mother nearly lost her house in the credit crunch and ended
up having anxiety attacks. My wife had a bad illness and I went blind in my
left eye. I was diagnosed with eye cancer in summer and had a very
precarious operation to remove it. For the first time I had to dwell on the
idea of death and not being invincible. I saved my eye, got rid of the
cancer and since then I have gone on to complete a new album.²

Out of the negative comes the positive. And ³U Can¹t Lurn Imaginashun’ is
all about mining the deepest parts of the psyche to find inspiration. It¹s
about how, even though we learn so much at school – courses in languages,
computer studies, science, religion, sport ­ and live in a time of
unprecedented technological prowess (phones, computers, ipods, music
software), imagination is the one thing you must journey deep inside
yourself to find.

³Cheap computers and powerful software can¹t make music for you,² states
Vadim. ³That comes from the imagination, from the will to fight for your
life, to love and to struggle. These things can¹t be learned in
universities, but they can be discovered within ourselves. So many people
live their lives without asking Œwhy?¹ or Œif…? We just accept the rules,
play the cards we¹re dealt with. Being diagnosed with cancer gave me a
reason to fight for my life. I wasn¹t going to let the cancer overcome me –
my body nor my passion, music. Even with tragedy knocking at the door I
looked within myself to create something new. I felt kindness, love and
appreciation from so many people around the world praying and sending
positive energy. I didn¹t accept the cards dealt to me and since recovering
I feel healthier for it. I now know who my real friends are. I would never
wish what I went through on anyone else, but I wouldn’t change it for the
world because it made me is making me into a better me²

Naturally, 2008 wasn’t 100% bad. Amidst the illness, pain and heartache,
Vadim managed to tour worldwide with Fat Freddy¹s Drop, DJ Krush and Slick
Rick. And not only did he find, or rather make, time to write a new album,
he also discovered new ways to express himself, such as playing keyboards
and even Œsinging’ ­ or at least putting his vocals through AutoTune,
TalkBox and vocoders, an effort to avoid relying on samples and to reach
some new ground.

³This is something I would never have done ten years ago, let alone on my
last album,² avers Vadim. ³I feel like the album bridges gaps between what
is eclectic and what is mainstream, as well as between genres like soul, hip
hop, reggae, downtempo and electronica. It¹s definitely a move towards more
electronic sounds from The Soundcatcher² ­ maybe like Soul2Soul meets Daft

On ³U Can¹t Lurn Imaginashun² Vadim hits every note and every colour, not
just the black and white ones. Like all Vadim projects, the songs here are
fresh, funky and fun. There are reggae rubs that could sit next to Desmond
Decker; neo-soul and conscious-rap jams that recall Q Tip or Jill Scott;
experimental gems akin to the work of Flying Lotus or J Dilla. Mostly though
it¹s the sound of music being embraced and loved, and of a re-inspired life
being lived. If ATCQ hadn¹t already used Beats, Rhymes & Life as an album
title, it would be equally suitable hereŠ

“Music rots when it gets too far from the dance. Poetry atrophies when it
gets too far from music.” [Ezra Pound].

01. Soldier ft. Big Red & 5Nizza
02. R3 Imaginashun
03. That Lite ft. Juice Lee & Rjay
04. Thrill Seeker ft. Sabira Jade
05. Beijos ft. Heidi Vogel
06. Saturday ft. Pugz Atomz
07. Strictly Rockers 215
08. Under Your Hat ft. Kathrin deBoer & Governor Tiggy
09. Game Tight
10. You Are Yours ft. Yarah Bravo
11. Maximum ft. La Methode
12. I Want To Shout Out ft. Sabira Jade
13. Always Lady ft. Pugs Atomz & Wes Restless
14. Pink Stiletoes ft. Sunny
15. Thrill 103
16. Rock Dem Hot
17. Hidden Treasure ft. Sabira Jade & Kwasi Asante
18. Tu He Ma Ne Toddy

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top