They’re the greatest band you’ve never heard of. Unsung heroes whose music was political, spiritual, and generations ahead of its time.
Cymande, a group black British musicians, who all came to the UK from the Caribbean as children, released three brilliant albums in quick succession in the early 70s and were embraced in the USA. But in the UK they faced a music business beset by prejudice against home grown black talent and were largely ignored. They split in 1975. But their music lived on, as successive generations of artists and fans found and embraced their songs. Hip Hop, House, Drum and Bass, R&B, Rare Groove and crate digging communities all saw something in the songs of Cymande that inspired them. And now the band are back. Touring the world and being embraced by yet another breed of fan – the internet generation who weren’t even born when the band split up 40 years ago.
Their story is now also being told on big screen for the first time, with tributes from a galaxy of musicians and producers influenced and enthralled by their music, including Mark Ronson, Kool DJ Red Alert, DJ Maseo, Jim James and Louie Vega. Getting It Back: The Story Of Cymande (directed by Tim Mackenzie-Smith) had its World Premiere at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Just last month, the film also won two awards at the Calgary Underground Film Festival. Watch the trailer for the film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKMv0hYT4Xc
“In the documentary Getting It Back: The Story of Cymande, Cut Chemist likened the band to a secret password. If you knew them, you were immediately part of a club of music heads who were down with an almost invisible cornerstone of hip-hop.” – Austin Chronicle.
2022 and 2023 looks to be a new beginning and rebirth for this legendary band. In addition to the launch of their U.S. tour and the continued roll out of their documentary, the band is now working with Partisan Records on plans for a new studio album, along with special reissues of their back catalog.