DJ Vadim presents The Electric – Life Is Moving | Album Review



The Electric is the fresh new Soul/Hip Hop group formed by world renowned DJ and producer, DJ Vadim and is made up of the “hardest working man in show business” whose first LP came far back in 1996 by way of the Ninja Tunes-released ‘USSR Repertoire’, DJ Vadim himself, Chicago-based underground Hip Hop artist, TV/radio presenter and fashion designer Pugs Atomz and emerging UK soul singer/songwriter, Sabira Jade.

Together as ‘The Electric’, these three have amalgamated an eclectic mixture of Hip Hop, Soul and Electronic music rather beautifully, first on their BamaloveSoul and DJ Booth presented mixtape Hey You Guys which served as the apt prelude to the trio’s first release and now on their forthcoming debut LP Life is Moving, to make some amazing music that is not only innovative but also rich in harmony, flavour and most importantly – SOUL!

The Electric’s 16-track LP Life Is Moving is filled with sublime and beautifully crafted Hip Hop musical backdrops that are laced with hard-hitting basslines, heavy percussions, live music instrumentation, lush snyths, ample MPC goodness and arrangements as well as infectious, soulful and sultry vocals from Sabira Jade and a diverse flow with clever lyrics and wordplay from Pugs Atomz but that’s only half the story.

DJ Vadim’s skills and credentials as a producer can and should never be questioned and he shows just why on ‘Life Is Moving’ – almost all of the songs come exceptionally brilliant on the production side of things and for me, the musical milieus that he provides for Jade and Atomz are not only the highlight of what is a really good debut album from The Electric but they serve as the perfect axis for both Jade and Atomz to show off their vocal/rap and songwriting abilities.

On one of my early favourite songs from the album, ‘So Now You Know’, DJ Vadim provides a funky and hard-hitting Hip Hop beat laced with bold keyboard stabs, lush syths and a larger than life bassline for Pugs Atomz’ smooth flow and lyrics and Sabira Jade’s soft and sensual vocals to thrive and come alive on.

On the recently leaked ‘Overloaded’, Sabira Jade and Pugs Atomz are in full effect with 100% chemistry that’s thankfully evident on much of the rest of Life Is Moving, Atomz’ infectious flow and wordplay as well as Jade’s warm and alluring vocals which completely command this electro funky boombastic Hip Hop song from start to finish.

The Electric – Overloaded:

The album’s lead single – the Yarah Bravo-featured ‘Beautiful’ – is more of the same eclectic goodness from DJ Vadim but translated in a more laid-back manner, upon which Sabira Jade’s dreamy vocals and Bravo’s idiosyncratic flow particularly stand-out for me. With a sound and vibe more akin to that of a Slum Village or a Little Brother, ‘Beautiful’ is definitely a throwback tribute to the pioneering sounds of A Tribe Called Quest and vintage late ’80s Hip Hop.

The album’s final song, ‘Music Is Addictive,’ sees Sabira Jade take the leading role to such amazing effects and you wonder why she wasn’t given as much a dominant role on more songs on the album as she was given on this song. ‘Music is Addictive’ is simply three glorious minutes of Jade at her alluring vocal best over a soulful DJ Vadim production, laced with head-bopping drum patterns and a funky bassline that leave you wanting more of the UK soulstress.

But there is more: songs such as ‘Questions Questions’, ‘The Way It Is’, ‘I’m All In’ and the incredibly fun and playful ‘Let’s Celebrate’ will leave you bopping your head so hard, in the jiggiest ‘one-two’ step and in the most triumphant and ‘feel good’ mood ever thanks to Vadim’s bass-heavy soulful funkadelic production, Atomz’ infectious flow and Jade’s warm and commanding vocals. This album is that good good music at its core.

The Electric – Music Is Addictive:

However, at 16 songs long and a lengthy running time of over an hour, Life Is Moving does harbour the very real risk of not being able to carry it’s listener all the way through on this experimental musical journey. The unassuming tribute to pioneering Hip Hop group A Tribe Called Quest that is beautifully evident throughout the LP seems to fall flat on ‘Hands Up’ and while fans of ATCQ might appreciate Sabira Jade vocal-sampling of ‘Stressed Out’ at the beginning of the song as well as Vadim’s tantalising bass and drum heavy musical milieu, Sabira Jade (who I’ve become a huge fan of) however does not do quite enough on the song to actually own it and give it the sparkle that it requires.

The album’s opening song ‘Toot Toot’ is not nearly as inventive and ingenious as you would have hoped. Everything from the childish chorus (“toot too, beep beep” over and over again) to the monotonous horn arrangements to Pugs Atomz’ boring flow and weak lyrics do not seem to do it for me and thankfully the song starts to come alive for the last 45 seconds when DJ Vadim adds some urgency to the song by way of some energetic drum kicks and much pacier horn arrangements to tide you over to the next song – the thankfully sublime ‘Overloaded’.

The Electric – Hands Up

Thankfully there are more moments like ‘Overloaded’, ‘Beautiful’, ‘So You Now Know’ and ‘Music is Addictive’ than there are like ‘Toot Toot’ or ‘Hands Up’ and that is not to say that you will hate the latter two songs but you almost certainly will prefer the former songs and you will undeniably like and enjoy more songs on Life is Moving than not because only a few minutes of this hour odd long journey tend to land off the mark and even then, they’re not very far off that mark.

The full-length debut record from The Electric, Life is Moving is scheduled for release on March 14 via Organically Grown Sounds Recordings.

Pre-Order: The Electric – Life is Moving LP

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