In the last few years London has become the centre of the Jazz Renaissance. A new burst of energy and attitude brought by young musicians, equally inspired by the likes of John Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders or Sun Ra, as well as Madvillain, J Dilla, Flying Lotus and Floating Points, has brought a welcomed freshness to the London Scene. This exciting new environment brought a group of young musicians together, all with a mutual desire to discover a new form of expression. Together they created Cykada.
Cykada is a band of established musicians on the London scene, having played in groups including, Myriad Forest, EZRA Collective, Maisha, Where Pathways Meet, Family Atlantica and Don Kipper. Bassist Jamie Benzies is the spine of the project, along with Tilé Gichigi-Lipere, also a fellow former member of the legendary band Myriad Forest and Drummer Tim Doyle aka Chiminyo, together were the first members of Cykada. Jamie mentioned in one interview:
"I became more keen on doing something which has a longer vision. Where you get together with people you know you can work with, people you love sharing a space with and you take your time, you make sure you’re enjoying your music and as that comes, everything else comes."
Trumpeter Axel Kaner-Lidstrom, Saxophonist James Mollison and secret weapon Guitarist Javi Pérez complete the ensemble. Tilé shows a unique and indispensable role within the band, aside from playing keys, he is programming, processing and modifying the sounds of the instruments, a massive factor in creating the distinctive vibe of the band. Cykada’s unique vibe is a testament to its members and the crucial role they each play in the creative process.
Cykada is an energetic bomb of unique style. It engages distant poles, analog worlds crashing with electronics, eastern influences crossing with western, harmonising nostalgic moments with dancefloor bangers. It seems that Western Africa is just bordering with Eastern Europe, where Turkish music high fives Flamenco and all of this is wrapped up with the fundamentals of the London club scene. There are so many inspirations that it may seem impossible to unite them, however they make it happen, creating layers of devastation, beauty and intrigue.
40 minutes of music built as 5 compositions, were recorded in December 2017 in the Total Refreshment Centre. The self-titled debut album Cykada will be released on 22th of March 2018 by Astigmatic Records. The preorder of the album is available at the Sounds of The Universe and Bandcamp.