Fast becoming the Sunday night monthly fixture at The Book Club in Shoreditch, 4 To The Floor has made a niche for itself with a night of house-dance crews and the world of eclectic DJ/producer to hand. Racking up an impressive line-up in the past of Aroop Roy, Simbad, EVM, Shaun Ashby, AtOne and Kleva Keys for their #SUNDAYSESSIONS over the past 12 months has elevated them as serious players in the music game. Industry heads and music seekers alike all came to see the man and his music.
Upping the ante with an exclusive party on carnival weekend in collaboration with BBE Music celebrating 20th as a record label. Bringing Boddhi Satva to the Bedroom Bar was an epic move added an new landscape to the African house scene on London’s underground. Revellers from home and as far as Amsterdam and Boddhi Satva’s hometown of Brussels came to town to witness the founding father of Ancestral Soul in transition.
Warming things up was Pete Ardarkwah of BBE Records, played like he had something to celebrate with a back-catalogue spanning two decades. A successful label ensued when he and founding member Ben Jolly started to discuss their common interest and began DJing together by promoting their own night in Soho. Moving the event into a record label came the Stop & Listen series first featuring Masters At Work. Since then they have release tracks with Roy Ayers, Paul Weller, DJ Shadow, Dimitri From Paris, 4Hero and DJ Spinna just to name a few. A stylish selection of classic cuts and melee of Afrobeat rhythms was a nicely heated prequel for the main event.
Eagerly anticipated and worth the waiting for Boddhi Satva aka Armani Kombot-Naguemon exploded into his set and elevated the upstairs room in the Bedroom Bar. Fusing genres is never easy, creating one out of heritage (hails from Bangui in the Central African Republic), influences and music disciplines to forge a musical genome takes something really special to achieve. A non-conformist of rebel music crosses barriers and tramples borders in his crusade to unapologetically deliver his musical art fused with what is quintessentially himself.
Listed in the top ten African musicians big overseas Satva aka Armani Kombot-Naguemon was mentored by Osunlade and selected by Louie Vega (Masters At Work). His debut album Invocation was release on Vega Records and BBE Music where it received acclaim from Gilles Peterson. Now on his second successful album Transition which received world-wide acclaim delves further into his soundful psyche and is inspired by the passing of his father features hits from Omar, Mohamed Diaby and Teedra Moses.
This night was set with a buzz before and it was only heightened by Satva’s entrance. He’s got some hardcore and excitable fans and they were loving every minute of it – the dance-floor was not empty from beginning to end not even for a minute. Second track in Xe Mana Bella cued up and the crowd hyped into passionate chorus. If you were a first-time fan you were hooked immediately the look of awe and deep resonation clearly visible on the crowd’s faces.
The schooling commenced in waves of excitement and chanting as deep beats soaked in African rites of passage time-stretched into nu-wave Soulection hip-hop – a cheeky nod to his earlier production days, paying homage, then bringing it back with a slice UK funky and some boasty bashment then back to business with his ancestral deep-tech vibe. This was one night no one wanted to end. A humbling thank you and speech that breaks all barriers was warmly received in cheers. Satva is a blessing to listen to, to watch and to watch him bless his fans was an honour – we need him back again.
Review by Sandra Swaybe-Barrett
4ToThe Floor & BBE Records Present Boddhi Satva – Bedroom Bar, Shoreditch Shoreditch