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Related: funk - 1970s

Last saturday whilst browsing for music, I heard a rare groove tune I knew from way back the dealer then introduced me to the groups oeuvre. Two albums have been re-released on Sequel. The guys (west indians based in London in the 60s and 70s) played what they called Nyah-rock a blend of reggae and soul. No bad tune on the two albums (cymande and second time around). Some of you guys will recognise beats and parts as these guys have been heavily sampled. You know that MC Solaar tune Bouge de la, with the crazy b-line... and loads of stuff. Their best known tune is called Bra, I also procured a 12 inch import on JD Classic Records with an 8 minute edit of the mutha' bit pricey but well worth it. In short if you come across Cymande buy. --Temi Castro , 1999


Cymande were an eclectic band who released several albums throughout the early seventies. They arrived in London, England from Guyana and Jamaica and developed a subtle, deep funk style heavily influenced by Calypso rhythms, Jazz, African music, and American Soul. Cymande can now be seen as one of the most sophisticated of the heavy funk acts that evolved in the early 1970's. By the mid-seventies the band members were going their separate ways. It wasn't until 20 years later that they reaped any financial rewards, as their music became a popular source for samplers. Cymande's original albums are still widely sought-after by DJ's and funk aficionados. Perhaps the band's best known recording is the soulful dancefloor groove "Bra", later sampled by the American hip-hop group De La Soul.

Members of the band reunited for a performance in Brighton (UK) on May 19th 2006 during the UK Funk All-Stars night at the Corn Exchange. It formed part of the Brighton Festival 2006. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cymande


  1. Cymande - Soul of Rasta [1CD, Amazon US]
    1. Brothers on the Side 2. Bra 3. Message 4. Fug 5. Listen 6. Genevieve 7. Dove 8. Willy's Headache 9. Getting It Back 10. One More 11. Anthracite 12. Equitorial Forest 13. For Baby Ooh
    Like other underappreciated bands from the same era (the Velvet Underground, the Stooges, etc.), the multi-member funk band Cymande was virtually ignored during their short career, which spawned a trio of albums during the early '70s. But 20 years after their breakup, the group gained a large cult following, after countless modern-day rap acts began sampling bits from Cymande's tunes. The Newhouse label assembled a 13-track best-of set in 2000, The Soul of Rasta, collecting the finest tracks from their 3 original releases. Although comparable at times to such bands as Santana and War (especially evident in the group's use of percussion), Cymande's music is a must-hear, as it's a fantastic blend of exotic and funky ensemble playing (the group included eight members), soulful vocals, and uplifting lyrics, the latter of which sometimes reflected their Rastafarian beliefs. All 13 tracks are standouts, but tops would have to be "Bra" (which was a popular radio hit in! New York City when originally released), the groovy "The Message," the long and winding 11-minute track "Dove," and arguably the finest song on the collection, the soothing "Willy's Headache." The Soul of Rasta is an essential purchase for admirers of '70s funk and soul. ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide

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