The world is certainly a better place with Brit-Russian rap record-wrecker DJ Vadim in it. Okay, maybe not the whole wide world, but the hip-hop demimonde, at least, seems suddenly full of possibilities. His latest release, U.S.S.R.: The Art of Listening (Ninja Tune), is a cornucopia for the hip-hop geek (yes, there is such a thing). The Slavic beat-digger provides quirky yet kinetic beats and breaks for many an on-the-fringe MC -- Blackalicious's Gift of Gab and Atmosphere's Slug, among others. There's also an extremely eclectic lineup of musicians on hand, including Gruff Rhys from the Britpop band Super Furry Animals. And where better to catch a musician plugging an album with U.S.S.R. in the title than at a bar named the Proletariat?