When up-and-coming outfit Cykada were approached to create a covers set for a show at London’s Jazz Cafe earlier this year, their respective skill sets and musical interests could have taken the group in several directions. As a band comprising six of London’s most exciting underground jazz, electronic and rock music talents from such groups as Ezra Collective, Maisha and Sawa Manga – they could have tackled some classic be-bop ala Madlib on Shades of Blue, gone the spiritual jazz route, or tried some UK electronica, as Ben Hayes did with his epic Aphex Twin performance (which Cykada drummer Tim Doyle was directly involved in).
Instead, the group settled on a homage to the L.A. Beat Scene, which owes its renown to the tireless work of producers like Flying Lotus and Daedelus, plus musicians like Thundercat and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Cykada’s programmer Tilé Gigichi-Lipere (aka D’Vo) has long been a fan of the scene and its artists. As a member of The L.A.B Collective, whose radio show you can check out via Balamii, he’s fully immersed in the culture, technology and musical lineage of beatmaking. He and his bandmates crafted a set which included tracks by Flying Lotus, Mndsgn, Teebs and others, reinterpreting the compositions in a wholly unique way, thanks to their live setup and Tilé’s software instruments and manipulation.
The band will play those renditions once again this month, as they hit Manchester, Nottingham and Leeds for the first time. Ahead of the shows, Tilé has put together an awesome playlist of tracks that sparked his interested in the scene and travel right through to the new fire that marks a continuation of the distinctive L.A. sound.
As he explains, ‘the Cykada crew have a deep love for experimental sounds coming out from the L.A. Beat scene and are honoured to be playing live renditions of the music.’ His selections include some Flying Lotus, Dibia$E and Georgia Anne Muldrow. Check out the playlist below and pick up tickets for Cykada’s show at Soup Kitchen (which will also feature new original material and a wicked warm-up set from Hunrosa) here.