Hip-hop's influence spread far and wide during the '80s, as witnessed by the growth of the international scene during the following decade. Standing beside brilliant DJs from Japan (Krush) and France (Cam), Russia's DJ Vadim has proved to be the most popular advocate of hip-hop to come out of the former Soviet bloc, triggered mostly by the fact that he moved to Britain early in life. Upon arrival, he set up his own Jazz Fudge Records to issue a demo he called Derelicts of Conformity (by Son of Seth). He finally released the recordings early in 1995, as DJ Vadim's Abstract Hallucinating Gases EP. Britain's top hip-hop and acid jazz DJs began playing the record and, after being scouted by several labels, Vadim signed a contract with Ninja Tune. Several EPs released during 1995-1996 showed him to be quite an experimentalist, working heavily with static and noise, never content to let his ideas meander past the two- or three-minute point. His first LP, U.S.S.R. Repertoire (The Theory of Verticality), was released in late 1996.
The following year, Vadim began working on acts for Jazz Fudge; he issued the compilation Sculpture & Broken Sound, then debuted his own Andre Gurov project with the album A New Rap Language. His next project, the highly touted remix album U.S.S.R. Reconstruction, appeared in 1998, and was followed a year later by U.S.S.R.: Life from the Other Side. His third U.S.S.R. record, The Art of Listening, dropped in 2002. Relatively quiet during the early 2000s — his only full-length release was a mix album, Stereo Pictures, Vol. 3 — Vadim nevertheless reappeared in 2007 on BBE with a production album titled The Soundcatcher, as well as the Live in Brooklyn mix CD on Mothergrain. He was back on BBE for his next 12", Got to Rock/Black Is the Night, at the end of 2007 and remained there for his next two singles, 2008's Talk to Me/Like the Wind and 2009's Hidden Treasure/Saturday/Soldier. The full-length LP U Can't Lurn Imaginashun was issued in May of 2009 and featured R&B vocalist Sabirajade along with Chicago veteran Pugs Atomz, while 2012's Don't Be Scared included vocalists Sabirajade, Greg Blackman, and Yarah Bravo. Vadim has also worked as the Bug, with Kevin Martin, Dave Cochran, and Alex Buess. Reggae vocalists like Demolition Man, Governor Tiggy, and Rio Hemopo contributed to his 2014 album Dubcatcher while Max Romeo, General Levy, and Tippa Irie appeared on the 2016 sequel Dubcatcher, Vol. 2. Double Sided, a full-length collaboration with Dubcatcher guest vocalist Katrina Blackstone, was issued in 2017. ~ John Bush