Last week’s smooth sliding soul classic, ‘Angel Dust’ has left the taste of funk in the air and what better way to follow it up than with arguably one of the liveliest, tightest and greatest funk tracks of all time? ‘Brothers On The Slide’ is a product of the crazy British-Caribbean funk group, Cymande. The eclectic group was founded in London but contains members from all over the world including Jamaica and Guyana. Their combinations of jazz, funk, afro and reggae lead to Cymande being recognised as one of the most exciting and talented groups of the seventies. Sadly the music failed to get off the mark with the UK public, instead it gained majority of it’s audience from the US, where at the time their sound was exactly what the people wanted to hear. The band went on to release 5 studio albums, the latest being released in just 2015. Most of the band’s success came in a five year period from 1970-1975 when they chose to split paths. Their music was responsible for influencing some of the very best in hip-hop including Grandmaster Flash and the Fugees. The amalgamation of influences within the nine-man outfit helped to create never before-heard, spine-tingling, musical combination. A
When it came to making great music, Cymande were known for pushing the boat out and thanks to their genius composition, ‘Brothers On The Slide’ was nothing short of a phenomenon. It was released through Janus Records on an album entitled ‘Promised Heights’ in 1974. The album can only best be described as a decadent melting pot of African, Caribbean and American influences. Both the song and the album have a very raw and experimental feel to them and this is a reoccurring factor in Cymande’s music. Described as being one of “The tightest and infectious grooves to bubble out of the UK”, ‘Brothers On The Slide’ was almost a statement from Cymande. A statement to signify that although the funk scene was under-appreciated in the UK, there was a rich base of talent and creativity thriving on the streets of London as well as America. Cymande once specifically pointed out that you can’t spell ‘funk’ without a ‘U’ and a ‘K’. ‘Brothers On The Side’ offers a lively and explosive melody that is still being sampled today. Alongside such other hits of theirs as ‘Dove’ and ‘The Message’, ‘Brothers On The Slide’ is another fine example the creativity that was pouring out of Cymande during their short but successful stint at the top.
However underappreciated Cymande might have been, they certainly developed a strong cult following as the years have developed, one that is still going strong and one that I would definitely consider myself a fan of. There is no better way to lose yourself in the funky, psychedelic and quintessential classic that is ‘Brothers On The Slide’….you won’t regret it.
Listen & enjoy here –