Thursday 2 May 2019

'Cykada' by Cykada

Astigmatic Records' genre-less affection for music and their goal to present themselves as the prism to shine the light and showcase these treasures is something the relatively young label is becoming increasingly famous for:  DJ/producer/musician Surly from New Zealand unveiled his 'Trip To Warsaw' in 2018 introducing fans to his homage to Polish jazz through the eyes of hip-hop and drum & bass; Pakistani artist, Jaubi, introduced us to his 'Lahore State of Mind' last year, and the breakout Polish jazz collective, EABS, released their debut 'Repetitions (Letters to Krzysztof Komeda)' in 2017 with their follow-up due this year also...

And now that light shines to the incredible talents of the UK jazz six-piece Cykada, comprising something of a super-group of musicians from some of the UK’s finest names responsible for some of the UK’s finest jazz releases over the last few years:

Cykada’s saxophone duties are provided by James Mollison, member of the Ezra Collective and known for his session work with rapper Ty (‘A Work Of Heart’) and Joe Armon-Jones (‘Starting Today’); drummer Tim Doyle and trumpeter Axel Kaner-Lindstrom have each come off a strong 2018 as a part of Brownswood Recording’s spiritual jazz outfit, Maisha, and their debut ‘There Is A Place’; Tilé Gichigi Lipere provides the otherworldly electronics here much like he did masterfully on Mimika Orchestra’s ‘Divinities Of The Earth’; guitarist Javi Pérez’s unique style also heavily influences Cykada’s style and I’d advise checking his previous work as a part of Stonetape’s ‘Wintermute’ album, and finally there’s Don Kipper’s own bassist, Jamie Benzies.

…It’s a dream line-up of projects and collaborations which sets the stage for something equally exciting with the arrival of Cykada’s debut release. 

Much like Japan's Soil & "Pimp" Sessions referred to their high-octane levels of jazz as "death jazz", for Cykada, their myriad of experiences, styles and passions seem to organically spawn a style of jazz matching the energy of Tokyo’s finest but still having cultivated a style distinctly their own.  ‘Creation’ boasts an incredible energy, both boisterous and engaging, ‘Dimension Stepper’ embraces the band’s penchant for these unpredictable sonic soundscapes, and the album’s closing number ‘Third Eye Thunder’, clocking in at just over eleven minutes, acts as the perfect closer.

Cykada are inspiring flag-wavers for Astigmatic Records and their vision for both genre-defying and genre-defining music.

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