Posts Tagged ‘Zepherin Saint’
In four months much can happen to a family. Some move away, be it to the east coast or west coast, others become mothers that welcome new life into the world while others move on in life to explore new paths. But then there’s the tried and true, the familiar faces that won’t ever leave but will always offer their fervent support. Someone once stated, “It’s the people that make Tambor.” That sentiment rings true when you haven’t seen your Tambor family in more than three months.
Thankfully, on the night of Tambor’s eagerly awaited return, the family was everywhere. Familiar faces greeted you as soon as you walked up the ramp to the venue’s main front door, into the building, around the main room, center at front stage, on the DJ stage and upstairs in the VIP area. There were the family members already in mid-dance on the dance floor. There were the family members posing with smiles for snapshots in the middle of the dance floor. There were the out of town (country) family members that traveled as far away as Tennessee and Toronto. There were the drunken cousins and of course the cannabis stimulated relatives. There were the female models working the room. (You go girls) There were the family members wearing wigs that had not been seen at Tambor in ages. There were the Dominicans partying upstairs VIP style. There were the family members celebrating birthdays, flossing money pinned on clothes while others anxiously accepted cards and various gifts. There were the fellow house dancers dancing in crop circles weaving underneath and around each others bodies. There was the Atlanta House Dancer family member asleep with head down on table and all. (Boooooo) A family member stood at the coat storage by the DJ stage and collected coats for a three dollar fee. There was a buzz and swirl of activity as the wait staff swooshed about taking orders and keeping cocktail glasses refreshed. The bar was packed tight with family waving dollars to get the bartender’s attention for another round of drinks. As a result, the bathroom saw a steady stream of activity and business from family, be it powdering faces or tightening belt buckles. There were the family members capturing special moments using expensive photographic and high-tech video cameras. There was the family of audio technicians and visual technicians that made sure the BOZARK sound system sounded crisp and the visuals beamed bright. There were the family of DJ’s from all circles and the vocalists of all genres that showed up to smile, shake hands and exchange hugs. Even the night’s special guest DJ from across the pond, Zepherin Saint of Tribe Records UK having played at Tambor twice before was family and not to mention the brother of resident Tambor founder DJ Stan Zeff. Yes, family was everywhere and there was nowhere to hide from familiar eyes.
For his third visit to Tambor, Zepherin Saint pitched the BPM up and dropped two heavy hitting house beats reminiscent of that London house vibe. The soul-drenched set consisted of uplifting lyrics, afro-house, straight in your face club bangers and live keys played by Brother Yoel Ben Yehuda. After the barrage of afro-deepness Zepherin Saint launched into a vocal cavalcade. Notables included the Tribe Records UK release, “Bang The Drums” with Sister Pearl on vocals that received a warm applause. Jovann’s remix of Mary J. Blige’s, “Just Fine” had the crowd singing, “Oooh.” With brother Stan Zeff on stage working the sound a bouncy dub of Quentin Harris’, “My Joy” (Sean McCabe Melidious Dub) with Margaret Grace’s voice plastered the room. A 2010 remake of Roy Davis Junior’s classic with Peven Everett on vocals, “Gabrielle” (Qualifide Remix) by Emkyu now with DDB on vocals was on tap, followed by a Peven Everett original, “Can’t Do Without” the song that had people saying, “Your Honor/I Ain’t Supposed To Be Here.” Next came Sarah Devine’s uplifting spectacular, “Special” that brought tears of joy. If that weren’t enough Chicago’s own songstress Dajae screamed, “Brighter Days.” Black Coffee’s, “We Are One” kept the crowd unified. Also, keeping on the South African house vibe, Culoe De Song’s remix of Goldfish’s, “Call Me” became the year’s combustible anthem. Previous Tambor guest DJ, Osunlade’s Summer Suite Remix of Jazztronik’s, “Dentro Mi Alma” played for two verses as if to announce last call and note that the party would soon end. Concluding on a high note, once again, Culoe De Song rode to the rescue with his instrumental tribal epic, “The Bright Forest” that played with house lights on to the fullest as dancers spun in circles, walked on knees and screamed for joy. But the tune of the night came from an unreleased remix of Bucie’s, “Get Over It.” The princess of house sung over a hissing hi-hat, snaking snares, a pitched up four-count and live keys from a Nord keyboard that made for dance floor bliss.
Two words summed up Tambor’s holiday party-Family Affair. On display from Zepherin Saint to each attendee was a woven tapestry of brotherly and sisterly love seeping from the depths of the human heart. No matter their ethnicity, color, gender, sex, stature or social class the family trekked from lands near and far; to assemble peacefully, setting aside differences and to celebrate FAMILY through the marriage of music and dance.
Photographs by Carlos Bell
“BOOOOMMMMMM!!!!” blew the loud speakers that sent several people running to the back of the basement near the bar where the noise was less obnoxious.
This Friday night and all the rest started early, way before the first musical note licked any listener’s eardrum. The invisible time before the party that only a few chosen ever witness due to their expertise in audio management. This was sound check. The time not for the technically challenged but for the more technically inclined sound technicians that understood power converters plugged into walled outlets that checked wired cable chords to ensure proper installation and usage.
U.K.’s Tribe Records founder and label president, Zepherin Saint didn’t even blink an eye at the explosive sound as he continued testing the volume in the DJ booth that sat high above the floor in a glassless window booth lined with silver plated wires and chrome polished hardware that resembled an android beast straight from a sci-fi flick. This was all apart of the preshow to make the Tambor experience a continued success.
This being Zepherin Saint’s second time playing at Tambor knew how to work the tribesters musically into a fit of rage. Eight months earlier the music producer/songwriter ripped the roof off club Filter and positioned the city as a global House Music Mecca.
As the party started it took little time for Zepherin to get in the groove and drop the bomb on the place. What started out as smooth jazz played over a mellow house beat steadily transformed into a dirty bomb exploding with unbridled passion as people experienced out of body transcendence of being swept into heaven.
When the Tribe leader dropped Frank Roger’s “Me, Myself & I” (The Distant Music Mix) it was over. WOW, the surprise track of the night hadn’t been heard of in years and conjured questions of how such a stand out could have been so easily forgotten. Other notable standouts included the upcoming release by one of the hottest male house vocalist ever, Peven Everett with “I Need You.” Next up followed, DJ Le Roi featuring Roland Clark with, “I Get Deep” that came equipped with floating keys weaving a harmonic tapestry across the underground track. This never before heard version titillated the tips of every tongue in the room. Unbeknownst at that moment the keyboard was actually played live by a fellow tribester that sat hidden in the DJ booth. Shortly thereafter, a local songstress jumped into the booth and provided live spoken word over a track aptly titled “Slave Song.” Musically, this Tambor experience could get no better with its live vocals and instruments.
Suddenly, Zepherin launched into a hypnotic deep afro track that caused the crowd to move about as though they danced around flames of fire. What was this sound that brought out the tribal beast in everyone? Looking the room over, a spectacular visual of motion-fueled bodies filled the basement. There were ritual dance circles inhabited by free-stylers and fancy footers showcasing dance moves not found on the latest reality dance competition television shows but on the streets. The several onlookers pinned to the walls marveled with goggle eyes at the majestic sight. It was though all were one in a cosmic dance. Actually, the congregation already damp with sweat could take no more. Or so they thought until Zepherin dug deeper into his crates and produced a scorcher; a scorcher that would set the roof on fire.
Being it was summer and a HOT summer at that a major heat wave had stricken much of the nation. How appropriate to play the summer’s anthem, “BURNING HOT” by soul crooner Peven Everett. Not only was this track so unexpected but it was an exclusive organic remix of the certified HIT unavailable anywhere else. As soon as the crowd got hold of the song’s chorus, people fell to the floor, yelled, threw fists in the air and stomped their feet as if to summon the spirit of dance. The people erupted in sheer pandemonium that struck the room as fast as lightning strikes a tree. For six unadulterated minutes, nothing else warranted or unwarranted mattered. No one or nothing could penetrate the soul oozing from the speakers. This was the MOTHER of all MOTHERS. The fat lady had sung!
Not too long thereafter, the house lights brightened in the narrow shoebox and the music faded into eternal rest. It was 3 AM and all had to cease. Please, could someone end the city’s unorthodox ordinance of closing bar/club times? Suddenly, burley security pushed people out the way, shined flashlights in patron’s eyes and shouted, “GET OUT! GET OUT!” Wait a minute this was too much and unnecessary. The crowd of house music lovers was not the typical thugged out, hoochie humping, hip hop parties Merlotte usually hosted. Maybe the bouncers and wait staff were eager to get home. Whatever the reasons for the ostentatious attempt to evacuate the premises was not enough to dampen the mood of a “Burning Hot” night.
Photography by Luis V for DEG
“I hope that was the party that put Tambor on the map,” said Mother House.
Fierce winds rushed through the building as heavenly chords fell to the ground below. This was the stuff dreams were made of and Tambor had all the makings. The music, the life and the joy all bundled up into one as a neatly wrapped Christmas gift under a newly decorated tree. Once opened all could experience such a joy.
The drums signaled the coming of greatness. Although at the time no one expected it. The music’s magnetic pull penetrated the depths of souls. Mighty voices welcomed the coming while various instruments recorded the comings every move. Even the dancers, in on the act, interpreted its swift movements through graceful sautés and plies.
Talking drums talked, whistles screamed and hands clapped to the unheard song. Warm synth pads created lush melodies as trumpets resounded with joy while smooth bass guitars punched deep in delight. However, no one knew this tune, melody or tempo. This experience being not visible or tangible could not be touched or its force trapped within four walls. This experience could only be birthed through music.
This was the time of the anointed; the time of planetarium alignment; the time when God smiles upon the face of the earth; and the time of heavenly rapture when all were transported to a galaxy far away.
Although this experience was heralded with open arms, warranted and even dreamed of. No one dared predict if or when the experience would arrive. Many tried to contrive such an experience while others tried to consummate its formula. Some had seen past experiences like this come and go and many had heard of such comings and goings but so few had witnessed its captivating grasp. People were held hostage as if in bondage.
No one wanted the experience to end. Those house heads within the planetarium alignment wanted to bathe in its rich aroma forever. In its presence, Tambor was jolted into the next stratosphere. No longer, an underdog Tambor towered among the brightest of stars. Mediocrity was no longer acceptable nor did it reside on the tips of tongues. This experience was it. This was the real deal.
Photogrpahy by Carlos J. Bell
Video by Ari Johnson/courtesy of Stan Zeff