Faux Russian DJ embraces a vintage vinyl future
Who : DJ Vadim featuring Yarah Bravo and First Rate, with Insides Out
Where : Garfinkels
When : Sunday, Oct. 12
Tickets : $10
Hes a Brit who was born in Russia, produces Spanish hip-hop and married a Brazilian-Swede of Chilean descent. And right now, hes on the 101 heading up from San Francisco to Eureka, Calif., en route to Canada.
Life with DJ Vadim is a life without borders.
Yet if you had to pin a nationality on Vadim, it might as well be his enigmatic Russian DJ persona. Choosing to identify with the country he left at four years old has made him the Rasputin of electronica. He titled a recent album U.S.S.R the Art of Listening (Ninja Tune), and he frequently collaborates with a group he named the Russian Percussion, even though the members are a mixed ethnic bag.
But its less a desire to actually be Russian and more a fascination with the countrys mystique that inspires Vadim.
"Its not the place that my ideas come from, but I like the symbolism of somewhere else other than the U.K. or Western Europe, or North America for people to think about," says the quick-witted turntablist.
"I like the idea of when you talk about Russia, people dont know too much about it. Its kind of an unknown entity. And thats what, in a sense, I like to bring into my music, a kind of mysticism. You cant read me like an open book."
At the present Vadim is on his way up the American West Coast along with cohort DJ First Rate of Scratch Pervert and Morcheeba fame, and MC/vocalist/wife and "Mistress of Poetic Invention" Yarah Bravo. The crew will appear here on Sunday night, another chance to thrill the Whistler crowd with a session of sly grooves garnished with Bravos verbal stylings. Its only been six months since Vadim and Co. were up this way, and for fans of progressive hip-hop, its been a long, long wait. However, the incessantly touring DJ has packed a lot into those six months, including a trip to his spiritual homeland.
He likes playing Russia, he says. "People are very passionate. They get up and dance and shout and scream and get really drunk. Its pretty groovy."
Passion is something Vadim gets behind. Its kept him in the DJ game for over a decade now, but he has no intention of slowing down, selling out or cashing in. Hes still striving to innovate and intends to avoid settling for the easy route.