The group developed a subtle and complex, deep funk style influenced by calypso rhythms, jazz, African music, American soul and UK rock of the time. By the mid-1970s the band members were going their separate ways, and the group disbanded in 1974. It was not until 20 years later that they reaped any financial rewards, as their music became a popular source for samplers. Cymande's original albums are still widely sought-after by DJs and funk aficionados. Perhaps the band's best known recording is the soulful dancefloor filler called "Bra", which was later sampled by the American hip-hop group De La Soul and used as a breakbeat record by Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash.Cymande was accidentally discovered by English producer John Schroeder in a Soho, London club where they were rehearsing. He was there to see a rock band but the gig had been cancelled, and he stumbled upon these West Indian musicians. He soon signed the band and recorded their initial single "The Message." The single was released by Janus Records, a division of Chess Records. The track reached #20 on the US Billboard
R&B chart. This set the stage for Cymande's self-titled release in 1972.Cymande traveled to New York after the success of the first album, and began a tour of the US with Al Green. They also shared a few bills with the Latin funk ensemble Mandrill. They played a few important venues, including The Apollo, and played a gig on Soul Train
.The band released three LPs for Janus. However, their final album, Promised Heights
, was not released in the US, where Cymande had achieved their initial success. Promised Heights
included "Brothers on the Slide", "The Recluse" and "Promised Heights". The tracks "Brothers on the Slide" and "Bra" also were staples of the rare groove scene which developed in London and New York nightclubs during the 1980s.Members of the band reunited for a performance in Brighton on 19 May 2006, during the UK Funk All-Stars night, as part of the Brighton Festival 2006.
Sometime in mid-2012, it was announced that the band were to release a new album sometime before the end of the year. The reunion included the original core band members, producer John Schroeder and engineer Alan Florence, with initial rehearsals at Panic rehearsal rooms, recording at Monkey Puzzle studios (Sussex) in 2011, and a scheduled tour to accompany the album in 2012 - including a date at the London Jazz Festival in November. However, in October 2012, a message was posted on the Cymande website stating "Due to circumstances beyond their control, Cymande has had to postpone plans for live shows, including the show scheduled for Fairfield Halls on 18th November, until the New Year. We were looking forward to reuniting with our fans after so many years and are greatly disappointed. However, we look forward to live performances in the New Year. We also hope to have further news regarding the release of our anticipated new album. The recording of that album is now complete and will shortly be mixed in readiness for release. We will continue to post updates on this website”