Reunion tour from ’70’s funk pioneers Cymande stops at KCRW

UK funk pioneers Cymande have been sampled by many bands, from The Fugees to Gang Starr and to the Wu Tang Clan.

I’ll never forget the first time I became aware of Cymande.

I was sitting in studio with DJ Garth Trinidad jamming out to a funky tune and inquired who the band was.

His mouth dropped in horror that I did not recognize it. He immediately shoved the CD in my hand and said something like “It’s Cymande. You HAVE to know Cymande.”

I learned that they were soul/funk pioneers from the UK who broke up mere years after releasing their groundbreaking debut.

Fast forward to April of this year when I got an email telling me that Cymande were not only reuniting (with six original members!) but were headed to the US for their first tour dates since 1973, including a stop in LA.

So many times you discover an influential band too late and never get a chance to see them play, but here was our opportunity. I quickly arranged to have them tape a session here and I’m so proud to share it with the world today.

Despite their long sabbatical, the band’s music stayed alive thanks to sampling by other musicians. “Bra” – perhaps their best known track – was sampled by De La Soul in “Change in Speak” and Gang Starr on “Movin’ On”.

Their song “Dove” was sampled by The Fugees on “The Score”, EPMD  on “U Got Shot” and on “Problems” by Wu Tang Clan.

The Message” has been used by Master Ace, MC Solaar, The Coup and more. There are many more examples of the influence this band has had on hip hop and more.

It was a true honor to have them in. And if you’ve never heard of them before, I encourage you to dig in now!

RR