BODDHI SATVA-INVOCATION INSTRUMENTALS.

BODDHI SATVA-INVOCATION INSTRUMENTALS.

Earlier this year, I came across one of the most beautiful tracks that I’d heard in a long time. This was Boddhi Satva’s From Another World, featuring a haunting, heartfelt and spiritual vocal from Vikter Duplaix. From Another World is one of these compelling tracks not only instantly grabs your attention, but is uplifting and inspirational. It seems as if it’s designed to sooth your soul and make you feel at one with the world. Little did I know when I heard this track, that this was just one fourteen powerful, emotive and equally beautiful tracks that would feature on Boddhi Satva’s debut album Invocation. Soon, Invocation, which was released on BBE Music, became one of my favorite albums of 2012. Since then, hardly a day has passed without me playing Invocation. Truly, I never tire of hearing Boddhi Satva’s fusion of musical genres and influences on Invocation. During the fourteen tracks on Invocation, Boddhi fuses everything from authentic African Roots, Ragga and hip hop to Nu Soul, jazz and house music. However, what helped make Invocation such an emotive, powerful musical journey were the guest vocalists who feature on Invocation. This includes C. Robert Walker, Freddy Masamba, Leah Beabout, Leslie Kisumuna, Pegguy Tabu, Rohan Xilent and Vikter Duplaix. They brought life and meaning, as well as emotion and passion, to the songs on Invocation. Given how important a part these vocalists played in Invocations sound and success, I wondered how Boddhi Satva’s new album on BBE Music Invocation Instrumentals would work? That’s what I’ll tell you, once I’ve given you a recap on Boddhi Satva’s own musical journey from his early years in the Central African Republic, to the release of his two albums for BBE Music, Invocation and Invocation Instrumentals.

Boddhi Satva was born and spent much of the the early part of his life in the Central African Republic. Soon, Boddhi was immersed in music, writing, producing and rapping with the hip hop crew the Gbekpa Crew, which he founded with his friends. Although enjoying being immersed in the local music scene, Boddhi wanted his music to be heard much further afield. So when Boddhi headed to Belgium to continue his studies, his dream of his music reaching a wider audience came true.

Boddhi moved to Belgium in 2000, to continue his studies. It was in Belgium, that Boddhi discovered something that he’d quickly became passionate about, Deep House music. Having discovered a musical genre he loved, he started immersing himself into the genre’s music. Quickly, he discovered the giants of the Deep House scene. Kevin Yost, Alton Miller, Osunlade and Masters At Work became some of his favorites. Now that Boddhi had discovered Deep House, music he loved, and was passionate about, Boddhi decided that he’d make a career out of it. DJ-ing and producing deep house music was now going to be his career.

Five years later, Boddhi met and collaborated with one of the artists who inspired him to make a career out of the music he loved. Alton Miller and Boddhi met in 2005 and produced two EPs Prelude To A Motion and See the Day. Both were released on Paris based label ATAL Music. These EPs were well received, and quickly, Boddhi was receiving recognition from both fans and his peers in the music industry. Quickly, he established a reputation as a talented producer, one capable of producing stunning music, music that had an uplifting quality, By 2006, Boddhi produced Ancestral Soul, released on Yoruba Records. After this, he became in demand for both remixes and new tracks. The next step would be for Boddhi to start his own label, Offering Recordings.

Having established Offering Recordings, Boddhi set about releasing quality music, music that was uplifting, had a spiritual quality and carried a message. In a way, it’s music for the soul, music that helps people forget their worries, fears and pain. Although Boddhi has an almost unique take on music, he doesn’t forget that the music he’s producing is for people to dance to. His music sees drums and traditional sounds and instruments and is a compelling and glorious combination. Having established his own label, another label owner would sign Boddhi to his label in 2010. This was one of the people who inspired Boddhi, fueling and inspiring his love of house music, Louie Vega, from Masters At Work.

Louie Vega was by now a Grammy Award winning producer and owner of Vega Records. Boddhi signed for Vega Records in 2010 and Louie started introducing everyone to Boddhi’s music. From Miami’s World Music Conference, to London’s Ministry of Sound and everywhere from Amsterdam to Ibiza, music lovers and music industry insiders were introduced to Boddhi and his music. Not long after this, Boddhi started recording Invocation, his debut album.

Invocation was released by BBE Music in March 2012, to critical acclaim. Invocation is a truly eclectic collection of music, spanning Nu Soul, African Roots and Ragga, all with Boddhi Satva’s own unique sound. Boddhi says Invocation was recorded during visits to Africa, in his home studio, with a quite basic and modest setup. To record the album, he used just a PC, ordinary sound card, one microphone, plus drums, Koras and a variety of other instruments. On Invocation, Boddhi collaborates with a variety of artists including Oumou Sangare, Vikter Duplaix, C. Robert Walker, Freddy Masamba  Leslie Kisumuna and Pegguy Tabu. These collaborations on Invocation resulted in some uplifting, inspirational and beautiful music, music that crosses and fuses the musical genres. Having released Invocation in March 2012, the next few months would prove busy for Boddhi.

The next project Boddhi was involved with was producing Sage Monk’s album Heartache Allegory released on Offering Recordings. Heartache Allegory is a heartfelt, impassioned and beautiful album, with many similarities to Invocation. Then came Invocation Instrumentals, released by BBE Music, where Boddhi revisits the fourteen tracks on Invocation, transforming them into instrumental tracks. However, given how important part the vocals played on Invocation, how will Invocation Instrumentals work? Will it still have the same power and emotion, and be able to uplift and inspire? That’s what I’ll tell you, after I’ve told you about some of the highlights of Invocation Instrumentals.

Opening Invocation Instrumentals is the title-track Invocation, which has a real African roots sound, quick tempo and spiritual sound. As the track opens there’s a slightly foreboding sound as pounding drums, darks synths and percussion combine. They quickly gives way to a joyful and uplifting sound, thanks to the frenzied drums and percussion that provide the track’s heartbeat. Quickly, the pounding drums, percussion and Koras drive this almost hypnotic sounding track along. Although Freddie Masamba’s vocal is absent, the track still has a compelling, hypnotic sound, one that’s also joyful and spiritual sounding.

You’re My Woman is very different to the previous track, with its fusion of jazz and African Roots. It’ll be interesting to hear how the absence of C. Robert Walker’s heartfelt vocal affects the track. Punchy, rasping horns punctuate the track, while stabs of keyboards, drums, percussion and handclaps are combined. Horns, drums and percussion are at the heart of the track’s success, as Boddhi fuses elements of two cultures. While there’s a jazz and Nu Soul sound and feel, Boddhi’s combines this with elements of African music. During the track, traditional African instruments sit comfortably with keyboards and horns, which play a huge part in the track’s arrangement. Without C. Robert Walker’s vocal, you’re struck by how the fusion of styles still compliment each other perfectly. As the horns growl adding bursts of dramatic jazz, percussion and drums provide the track’s African heartbeat. Here, two cultures unite seamless and peerlessly, creating a heartfelt, impassioned track.

From Another World was the track that introduced me to Boddhi Satva, and featured a quite beautiful, almost haunting, spiritual vocal from Vikter Duplaix. Without Vikter’s vocal, how would the track sound? Would it still move, inspire and uplift me? Keyboards open the track, before handclaps, pounding drums and percussion combine. There’s a contrast in sounds, with traditional African instruments joined by synths and keyboards. Now you focus on the drums, percussion and Koras and warm, melodic synth sounds, whereas previously, you couldn’t help but be drawn to Vikter’s vocal and the message he delivered. Even without Vikter delivering the song’s message, the track still works. Now the percussion, drums and melodic keyboards are at the heart of a dance track. This isn’t just any dance track. Instead, it’s one you can lose yourself in, one that’s beautiful, with a warm and pounding, percussive and irresistibly catchy heartbeat.

Life Is A Lesson is a another of the dance-floor friendly tracks from Invocation Instrumentals. It’s almost tailor-made for the dance-floor, with its tempo of 120 beats per minute. There’s a real contemporary sound to the track, with squelchy synths, pounding drumbeats, acoustic guitar, Koras and percussion combining. Bursts of effects punctuate the track, while a series of musical contrasts reveal themselves. The crystalline, elegant guitar contrasts with the crunchy drumbeats, percussion and squelchy synths. So much is going on, so many contrasts unfolding, with Boddhi fusing musical genres and elements aplenty. Here, Boddhi Satva fuses elements of Deep House, broken beat, Acid House and African Roots, resulting in a classy dance-track, full of surprises and subtleties.

Nankoumandjan is a totally irresistible track, that from it’s opening bars, has you totally spellbound. There’s a joyous, uplifting sound to the track, with African and Western instruments combining. Guitars open the track, before percussion and crispy drums play their part in some glorious rhythms that soon reveal themselves. Powerful drumming, percussion and stringed instruments provide an African Roots sound, while bursts of squelchy synths and keyboards provide a contrast. Together, they create a hypnotic, joyous and uplifting Magnus Opus lasting seven sensational minutes. So good is the track, that you want to become part of the music, submit to it and revel in its glories and beauty.

On Invocation, there was a real change of sound and style on Because I Know. It had a contemporary sound, where house and Nu Soul were combined. Much of that was down to Leah Beabout’s vocal. Now the track’s an instrumental, how will that affect the track? Straight away, you realize this is a quite different track. Swathes of echoey synths reverberate, before crunchy drumbeats, keyboards, bass and percussion combine. Flourishes of buzzing synths, keyboards, crunchy drumbeats and bursts of percussion are at the heart of the track. They take you on a captivating and bewitching musical adventure, as the drama builds and builds. Even though there’s no vocal, the mixture of rhythms and melodies have you captivated. You’re locked into the groove, mesmerized by a track that was inspired by, and pays homage to Boddhi Satva’s love of house music. 

How Sex Changes was another track that signaled the change in sound and style of Invocation. It featured a beautiful vocal from Leslie Kisumuna, which was key to the track’s sound and success. However, even without the vocal, the track still works. Crunchy beats, shakers, stabs of warm, melodic keyboards and percussion combine, as another glorious slice of house music unfolds. The irresistible combination of keyboards, drums and percussion grab your attention. The track is blessed with a gorgeous, melodic and irresistibly catchy sound. Not only is this sound joyous and uplifting, but soothes your soul. It sends signals to your brain that all’s well in the world. Although there’s vocal, and no Nu Soul sound, the track has a really joyful, catchy and uplifting sound that is absolutely irresistible.

My final choice from Invocation Instrumentals in Stop Crying. Originally, it featured a heartfelt, impassioned vocal from Sage Monk, whose album Heartache Allegory Boddhi produced. As the track reveals its secrets and subtleties, Boddhi throws a curveball. The tempo is slow, with a combination of handclaps, percussion and moody synths combining. Waves crash against a deserted beach, as the tempo increases. Stabs of dark synths, drumbeats and percussion are combined. Waves cascade against the beach, as Boddhi drops the tempo and heightens the tension and drama. Dark synths, drumbeats, percussion and urgent bursts of whistles drive the track, and indeed Invocation-Instrumentals to it’s dramatic, yet beautiful conclusion. It’s the perfect track to close Invocation, one that sums up what Boddhi Satva’s music is about. It has a dramatic and emotive sound, but is still joyous, uplifting and spiritual.

Listening to Invocation Instrumentals is like discovering a totally new album. The fourteen tracks on Invocation-Instrumentals are very different from those on Invocation. Even though the vocals played such a crucial part in the success and sound of Invocation are missing, you discover a whole new side to Boddhi Satva’s music. You hear some glorious rhythms and melodies unfolding, as Boddhi fuses a variety of musical genres and influences. During the fourteen tracks musical journey Boddhi Satva takes you on on Invocation Instrumentals, you hear everything from authentic African Roots, Ragga and hip hop to Nu Soul, jazz and house music. It’s a glorious melting pot where two continents music are fused seamlessly and peerlessly. Pounding beats, percussion and Koras allow you to experience some authentic African Roots’ music, while the synths, keyboards, guitars and bass provide musical contrasts. Each of these instruments play their part in Invocation-Instrumentals’ powerful, emotive and beautiful sound. This music is variously uplifting, inspirational, joyous and thoughtful. It’s music for the heart and soul, music that makes you think, music that makes you laugh and music that makes you want to dance to Invocation-Instrumentals’ gloriously irresistible sound. Invocation-Instrumentals demonstrates just how talented a songwriter, musician and producer Boddhi Satva is. Given how important a part the vocals played on Invocation, many producers couldn’t have transformed the fourteen tracks to something new and innovative as the tracks on Invocation Instrumentals. For anyone yet to discover Boddhi Satva’s music, then I can’t recommend Invocation Instrumentals highly enough. It’s available from BBE Music as a digital download, and along with Invocation, his debut album, is the perfect starting point to the music of Boddhi Satva. What you’ll discover on the fourteen tracks of Invocation Instrumentals and Invocation is some beautiful, emotive, inspirational and uplifting music, Tmusic that’s  also joyous, powerful and deeply spiritual, music that once you’ve discovered, will become a constant and beautiful companion. Standout Tracks: You’re My Woman, From Another World, Because I Know and How Sex Changes Everything.

BODDHI SATVA-INVOCATION INSTRUMENTALS.

2 Comments

  1. I find this kind of music uplifting and soothing. At the same time I’m stunned by its mesmerizing and captivating nature. Listening to Boddhi Satva’s music is almost like a meditation, that has a calming effect on the mind (for me it is especially so with the instrumental versions).

    Since both African and house music are partly meant to evoke a state of trance (such as the rhythms and chants of African music, and the soft deep kick drum of house music), the combination of those two cultures seems to augment the tribal/shamanistic quality of this music even more. Yet it speaks to the listener in an unobtrusive and delicate way.

    Very thorough overview on Boddhi Satva’s Invocation Instrumentals:)

    • Hi Joonas,

      Thanks for your comments. I’m in agreement with everything you say about Boddhi Satva’s album Instrumentals. It’s such a beautiful, enchanting album, with the music soothing, soulful and quite mesmerising. Invocations Instrumentals brings new meaning to the tracks on Invocations, so much so, you hear a new side to the music. If you like Boddhi Satva, you should have a listen to Sage Monk’s Heartache Allegory on Offering Recordings. Boddhi produced the album and it’s a free download. I’ve reviewed it here, and along with Invocation and Invocations Instrumentals are two of my favourite tracks of recent months. Thanks again for your comments.

      Best Wishes,
      Derek.

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