The latest must-hear project out of London’s bustling jazz scene is Cykada’s debut album, out today.
The eponymous record is only five songs long—including the advance single “Dimension Stepper”—but dismiss it to your own detriment. Cykada pull together a panoply of influences, from highlife to electronic music to soundsystem culture, to create a groovy, vital blend of jazz fusion.
The album was recorded at Total Refreshment Centre, a multi-purpose space in London, at the tail-end of 2017. If you’re wondering why the record didn’t drop earlier, that’s because Cykada—whose members also play in Ezra Collective and Maisha, among other groups—prefer to take things slow.
“We decided to take our time and start very organically, just jamming with different musicians and seeing who we gelled with the most, gradually building up arrangements by spending a lot of time improvising and not really rushing into anything,” drummer Tim Doyle recently explained to Música Macondo. “It was important to not have any preconception of stylistic identity, but to start jamming with musicians and start working out what [Cykada was] gonna be.”
Well, Cykada has certainly been worth the wait. Stream the album below: