Archive for June 21, 2010
OSUNLADE & DAVID SABAT
At 10:30 pm a line stretched from the door all the way down to the next building. Thankfully the spring night air was warm, a tad too warm for mid-June. Anxious tribesters not accustomed to waiting in lines to enter clubs waited for the party to begin. Finally, the doors swung open and in walked everyone into the cool air conditioned ground level restaurant for drinks and mingling. The crowded room was noisy, not with music but with conversations. Topics ranged from, “I can’t wait to hear Osunlade play” to “I can’t wait to meet David Sabat.” Yes, the Los Angeles and Chicago residents were booked to play Tambor during the same timeslots that night. David on the musical decks upstairs and Osunlade on the musical decks downstairs. To determine how to hear both play at the same time was a daunting task. Only a dancer with skill precision could pull this off.
The sultry sounds of DJ BE penetrated the soft lit room of eating guests and soon to be drunks. It didn’t take long before people were on the floor dancing; mine you in a restaurant, in a small space created as a pretend dance floor. Surely, people seated along the exposed brick wall aligned with tables and at the bar found it hilarious how people danced in the way of waiters and waitresses pacing between the kitchen and the bar delivering hot plates of Cajun cuisine. Yep, the dance spot was dead smack between the two. You had to watch out or you were sure to be decorated with andouille sausage and angel hair pasta.
Fortunately, everyone survived, spill proof, until the basement door’s opened about thirty minutes later. Poor DJ BE, as everyone exited the top floor in favor for the night’s main event held in the basement.
Downstairs, the nice and cool dance floor was warmed-up for what would be an adventuresome night of dance. Of course, Tambor’s founder Stan, worked the musical switchboards and tore up the room with afro-house beats. But what happened next was a frenzied blur of events. For the reminder of the party, the quest of running upstairs and running downstairs to hear both sets of DJs play; BE upstairs/Stan downstairs and David Sabat upstairs/Osunlade downstairs, consumed the entire night. More energy was spent working the stairs than actually dancing.
Not long after, the night’s premier maestro Osunlade arrived in full form to shower blessings down on the crowd of hot house heads. Osunlade stopped the music to begin his musical journey with his heavy handed produced girl power-esque, “Pride” featuring Nadirah Shakoor that sent the crowd into danceteria. The Yoruba priest continued to work the congregation with heavy doses of deep tech that had people’s hands clapping to mouths blowing whistles. The sound went much deeper and deeper into techy territory than possibly imagined but thankfully the crowd appreciated it. Out from Osunlade’s bag of beats came a remix, the one with Afefe Iku’s “Mirror Dance” sample, of the biggest songs of the year. With fists pumped in the air, people started singing the tune, chanting and screaming at the top of their lungs, “HEY HEY.” (Black Coffee’s Remix the deep house artist of the year.) Everyone jammed as one nation under a house groove.
To top that off, if that wasn’t enough, the dance floor became even more condensed as an African dance troop bombarded the floor. The tribesters danced into one another as the already too congested floor swelled with patrons pushing the tribesters back so they could view the African dancers. Yes, the young ladies with matching red, white and black ensembles worked their arms and legs into fury as one of their own banged a drum. This caused everyone to stand in awe with drooling mouths to watch the dance troop that worked the room into further frenzy.
“Damn there was entirely too much going on.” In all appreciation and not too complain, two headlining DJs, the large crowd and dance troop were a bit over the top. On that note, the congested basement was traded for the more spacious, fresh air upstairs. Even Chicago’s David Sabat managed a decent crowd of tribesters dancing between the bar and kitchen to the sounds of Dennis Ferrer’s, “p 2 da j.” There was the usual New Yorker who showcased dizzy head spins to a lady adorned in a captivating red dress fanning herself with a church fan. Yep, it appeared as though all had a great time….
Until those drenched in sweat constructively critiqued, “We need a larger venue.” Who could disagree? Tambor’s crowd had outgrown the shoebox restaurant with dance floor in the basement. Everyone had a difficult time adjusting to the throngs of bodies swaying back and forth packed tight like canned sardines. Something had to give and it had to give fast.
Photography by John Crooms
Photograph by Carlos J. Bell
Photograph one by Maria P Sanders/All other photographaphs by Luis V for DEG
Photography by Luis V for DEG
Photography by Deborah Coton