By Matt Jones
September 10, 2013
In 1971, a dove was formed and released in Soho. An idiosyncratic British soul band whose members had roots in Guyana, Jamaica and Saint Vincent, Cymande (derived from the Calypso word for dove) were touring the US with Al Green after only their first (self-titled) album. The following years would bring further successes including two more outstanding albums and countless samples of their distinctive bass lines which underpinned international hits for the likes of The Fugees and De La Soul. However, the band remain relatively unknown, their grooves rare, their fame and royalties largely in the hands of those who sampled them.
It is a blessing then, to see that those rare grooves are now iTunes – Cymande’s first three albums having just been released digitally for the first time. The digital versions may lack the physicality and artistic beauty of the band’s original vinyls, but will hopefully draw new ears in to a band whose genius has largely been both usurped and unforgivably forgotten until now. And with a fourth album presently in production some forty years on from their last, it’s a good time to start a Cymande habit.