Review: Jack Foley
HAVING impressed with lead singles, Be Your Own and
Bluebird, DJ Vadim's One Self now realise their potential
with debut album, Children of Possibility.
The group is comprised of Vadim and two of his closest musical
collaborators - Swedish-Brazilian, Yarah Bravo and American, Blu
By placing their voices together for the first time, Vadim has
created a genuinely vibrant group collective, offsetting Blu Rum's
gruff musical growl against Yarah's sweet, octave-hopping, spoken
In single form, the contrasting styles worked wonders; in album
form, they really sound terrific.
If one were being harsh (or critical), Children of Possibility
isn't the masterpiece the singles suggested it might be. Certain
tracks fail to carry as much impact as others.
But this birth of a new project, or the children of the album
title, could well grow into one of Ninja's greatest family possessions
and the early word is encouraging.
Kicking off with Blu Rum's proletarian anthem, Fear The Labour,
the album first introduces us to Vadim's ability to put together
a delicious twiddled guitar loop (which actually conjures fond
memories of some of Bonobo's sounds).
It is quickly followed by the edgy Trying To Speak and
former single, Be Your Own, which is notable for its rhythmically
driving Indo-Arabic beat and subtle blend of soul and hip-hop.
Indeed, the first few tracks really bring Blu Rum to the fore,
creating a more urban hip-hop sound set around the distinctive
beats of Vadim.
But come the halfway point, things chill out somewhat with the
arrival of Bluebird, and Bravo's sultry tones.
Bluebird is probably the album
highlight - a lush, summery slice of hip-hop/rap that is sure
to generate some serious crossover appeal to all members of the
It comes with another delicious twiddled guitar loop, some excellent
stabs of bass and a trademark rock-solid beat from Vadim, as well
as a near-perfect vocal trade-off between Bravo and Blu Rum.
Further highlights include the smooth R&B-style Hollow
Human Beings, which gives some welcome pause for meditation
and another sassy vocal from Bravo, as well as the super chilled
Unfamiliar Places, which brings the album to a genuinely
Where it falters slightly is during its more experimental moments,
as in Vadim's instrumental, SD2, or the pure acapella-style
rap of Sunshine, with dispenses with any genuine rhythm
in place of raps and short sharp beats.
On the whole, though, this is a suitably hip affair, offering
something a little different from the norm, that marks another
major triumph for the Ninja Tune label.
We can only look forward to the Children of Possibility maturing
into something really, really special. Long may One Self continue...