All work and no play can be a very dull indeed yet the Sound Catcher isn’t just about hard work. Its everything you’ve come to expect from the 4 weetabix a day powerhouse DJ/producer/musical incendiary and so much more: unpredictable with touches of disco and tubby-esque dub moments, varied with brushes of blues, soul and rap , urban grime bedlam with double time bounce and ambitious combining so many influences and yet making it feel like they all fit. Without doubt a major step forward from his last solo LP(the art of listening 2002 ninja tune), new, funkafied bop.
Right from the start formality is thrown out the window along with the textbook instructions on How To Be a Hip-Hop DJ. Its quite clear Vadim is intent on the serious business of having a good time more than sticking to any genre. Preconceptions will not be tolerated and the only option is to surrender to his unique vision of outer space soul music. Refreshingly simple but yet somewhat seasoned and developed, The Sound catcher is about ‘songs’ . Less ‘produced’ or ‘complex and abstract’ than some earlier outings, songs flow throughout that would make many a major label A&R exec proud but yet retain an indie rawness and a nod to Vadim’s past that even the most mixtape laden backpackers internetters could feel.
The new album presents straight shots of classic soul (‘Black Is The Night’ f/ Kathrin DeBoer), charged MC-driven wake-up calls (‘Ballistic Affairs’ f/ Skinnyman) and dense, dubby instrumentals (‘Manchester’; ‘SD4’). The dark grooves of ‘Talk To Me’ reference Gwen McCrae’s ‘90% Of Me Is You’; ‘Fear’ and ‘Watch That Sound’ delve into the 80’s ‘Steely and Cleavie reggae/ dancehall revival whilst classic rap informs ‘Got To Rock’ and the sly, infectious ‘Soundcatchers’ with stalwart West Coast MC Abstract Rude.
Throw in the mystical Timbaland-esque ‘Like The Wind’ and the deep, slow burn of ‘Sufferin’ Blues’ and it adds up to a wholly fulfilling seventy minute experience. Stylistically leagues away from drab contemporary rap, The Sound Catcher is a bold and winning hybrid of 21st century hip-hop soul hot stepping it up into 6th gear.