For Boddhi Satva, 2012 has been a huge successful and important year. 2012 started with the release of Invocation on BBE Music in March. Not only was Invocation one of the most beautiful albums of 2012, but one of the best. When the lists of 2012’s best albums are released, surely Invocations will be on it. Then hot on the heels of Invocations, came Invocation Instrumentals, a digital only release on BBE Music. Invocations Instrumentals, saw Boddhi breath new life, meaning and beauty into the tracks, reinterpreting them peerlessly. Boddhi’s latest project for BBE Music is another digital release, Nankoumandjan, a six-track remix E.P. Like Invocation Instrumentals, Boddhi reinterprets and breathes new life into Nankoumandjan, one of the best tracks on Invocation. It’s a compelling project, allowing you to compare and contrast the original version of Nankoumandjan, with the five remixes. Each remix brings something new, different and unique to Nankoumandjan, which is Boddhi’s third release for BBE Music. However, Boddhi’s three releases for BBE Music only tells part of the story behind Boddhi Satva’s year so far. 

Boddhi Satva is a multi-talented man with many other strings to his bow. He’s also a successful DJ, producer and runs his own record label, Offering Recordings. During the last few months, Offering Recordings have released albums and E.P.s by artists Boddhi discovered and collaborated with. This includes Sage Monk’s Heartache Allegory, Idrissa Sissoko’s Lopilopilo and Ade Alafia Adio’s O.R.G.A.S.M. Their latest release was Offering Recordings Ade Sampler 2012, a nine-track taster of Offering’s recent releases. So as you’ll realize, Boddhi Satva is one of the hardest working men in music, as well as being the Godfather of Ancestral Soul. Somehow, Boddhi has managed to find the time for his latest project Nankoumandjan. 

Forever the innovator Boddhi Satva’s latest release for BBE Music is Nankoumandjan, a six-track track remix E.P. On Nankoumandjan, Boddhi collaborates with one of the artists that featured on Invocations, Mangala Camara. Mangala’s vocal features on another slice of spiritual soul, which is then given the remix treatment. In total, there are five separate remixes of Nankoumandjan, including remixes from Boddhi and Rancido. Each of these five remixes bring something new to the original track. Whether it’s the Instrumental mix, Rancido’s Deep Deep Journey Dubstrumental, the Dékalstrumental Mix or the Ancestral Dékalé Remix, they breath new life, energy and meaning into Nankoumandjan. You’ll realize that when I tell you about the six tracks. 

Opening Nankoumandjan, is the original version of the track, which featured on Boddhi’s album Invocation. Nankoumandjan features Mangala Camara, from Kaye in Mali a former protege of Salif Keita. This is a track that features some glorious rhythms, that reveal themselves during the track. Powerful drumming, percussion, bursts of squelchy synths and of course the impassioned and emotive vocal of Mangala Camara. His voice has a compelling and spiritual quality, on a track that has a real African roots sound, augmented by synths. There’s a joyous and uplifting quality to what is an epic track one that lasting seven fantastic minutes.

What makes the Nankoumandjan E.P. such a compelling listen, is the different way one track is interpreted. The Ancestral Dékalé Remix demonstrates this. As the track begins, filters are added to the drums, softening their sound. For company they’ve percussion, before Mangala’s heartfelt vocal and crispy drums combine. Mangala scats, his vocal growing in power and passion. Whistles, synths and a myriad of percussion create a hypnotic backdrop to this breathtaking musical journey. Then things change, when the track is deconstructed. All that remains are the synths. They’re joined by drums and percussion and Mangala’s vocal. From there, this breathtaking music journey continues, revealing its secrets, subtleties and surprises. 

There’s an understated sound to the Dékalstrumental Mix. This grabs your attention.  Maybe it’s the Deep House influence that’s apparent from the get-go. The track meanders along, just drums and percussion combining. Again, there’s a hypnotic sound to the track as it reveals its secrets. You’re teased and tantalized, wondering what’s about to happen next. Banks of synths build and build before a curveball is thrown. Midway through the track it almost comes to a halt. It’s a bit like a train stopping at a station. Soon, the journey resumes. Stabs of synths, pounding drums and percussion combine and gradually Nankoumandjan resumes its journey. All that’s left for you is to sit back, relax and the journey, as you travel first class all the way.

Thunderous, pounding drums power Rancido’s Deep Deep Journey Dub mix of Nankoumandjan along. This is a very different take on the track. There’s a real Deep House sound. A sprinkling of percussion, snippets of distant vocals and then Mangala’s vocal joins the mix. It drifts in and out, as hypnotic drums take centre-stage. They’re joined by occasional handclaps, washes of moody synths and Mangala’s impassioned, spiritual vocal. By now the track has grown in stature. Referring to the track as dramatic is almost an understatement. It’s becomes an unstoppable force, growing in power, energy and emotion. Rancido’s remix has transformed the track into a dance-floor epic, a Deep House Magnus Opus, that’s guaranteed to enliven and reenergize any dance-floor.

Having produced one of the best remixes of Nankoumandjan, Rancido tries to go one better with the Deep Deep Journey Dubstrumental. Straight away, the track has a much deeper sound, if that’s possible. Again, the track takes on a life of its own, growing in stature, thanks to the drums that dominate the mix. They’re bold, dramatic and thunderous, sitting  centre-stage. The bursts of percussion, handclaps and washes of synths are added at just the right time. They add to the tension and drama. It’s a compelling combination that has you spellbound. Soon, the track takes on a sound that’s bold, dramatic and dynamic. Layers of music unfold before you as Rancido, does the seemingly impossible, as he takes you on the deepest of journeys.

The instrumental of Nankoumandjan is a totally irresistible track. From its opening bars, you’re 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.

Nankoumandjan is a compelling project from Boddhi Satva, one of music’s innovators and visionaries. The basic premise is simplicity itself. Take one track, then remix and in doing so, transform it. It’s like a musical makeovers, where one track is transformed into five new tracks. Each one is unique, bringing something new and innovative to the track. It’s comparable to a musical journey, that soon, becomes an adventure, an adventure where anything’s possible and can happen. Not only is it compelling, but captivating. Sometimes, you wonder where a track is heading, then just at the right moment, a curveball is thrown. This curveball not only sees the track take on new life and energy, but new direction. Comparing the five remixes of Nankoumandjan to the original version is fascinating. You hear something new in each remix. Subtleties, secrets and surprises are sprung by remixers that include Rancido and Boddhi Satva. These five remixes breath new life, meaning and energy into Nankoumandjan, one of the real highlights of Invocation. Of all the tracks on Invocation, Boddhi Satva couldn’t have picked a better track to remix. Having chosen carefully and well, Nankoumandjan, which is available now from BBE Music is the perfect introduction to music of Boddhi Satva. 

After you’ve sampled the delights, secrets and subtleties of Nankoumandjan, you’ll want to hear much more of Boddhi Satva’s music. The perfect introduction to Boddhi’s music is his beautiful, spiritual debut album Invocation, which was released in March 2012, by BBE Music. Then I’d recommend Invocation Instrumentals, the digital-only release from BBE Music. If you add to that Nankoumandjan, then you’ll have the complete back-catalogue of the Godfather of Ancestral Soul, Boddhi Satva, a true musical innovator and visionary. 


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