Chemystry Set

Chemystry Set


At this particular moment in time, when it feels like we live in an age where optimism is a rare commodity, Chemystry Set is here to remind us that it's not too late, that you really can draw life-changing inspiration from music that genuinely matters.


Musicianship tight as an atom, music wild and roaming as the imagination of the unknown. It's like everything and nothing you've ever heard, a screaming reminder that rock is rebellion and must be reinvented each time it's played, or else it's just pop. In almost ten years of defying their own musical boundaries, San Francisco's homegrown Chemystry Set has integrated — yet never emulated — genres ranging from world rhythm, jazz, and groove, to bluegrass, fusion, progressive rock, and punk. Founded on an auspicious evening in November of 1996, the idea was to create a platform that would allow musicians of all different backgrounds and characters to add their own individual blend of skills and energy to the overall mix. Rather than finding any particular style to play, it seemed to make a lot more sense to let everyone's quirky personality unfold and see where it would take us. This way, the Chemystry Set could just stay the Chemystry Set while everyone was constantly evolving and experimenting with all the diverse elements inherent in it. Ultimately, it is the love for music and exploring the unknown together with fellow kindred spirits that brought us together and lends our eclectic orchestra its backbone and character.
In its illustrious life Chemystry Set has toured throughout Europe and the U.S., sharing the stage with artists ranging from Les Yeux Noirs and LoJo to Sound Tribe Sector 9, Tea Leaf Green, and Hot Buttered Rum String Band. 2006 marks the release of Chemystry Set's 5th full-length album (Ogden Park), recorded at legendary Mobius Studio in San Francisco.


Zydecongo Stomp

Written By: Baba Ndjhoni

Back in the day when I was King Tut, too much gumbo, too much gut.
Ideas burning to the port and stern.
If it moves the music, it’s worth a learn.
On the other throne sits Neferttytty. Tell her she won’t, and she will completely.
Sh’thawed her bod in a warmer clime, bevies of bevvies to go with a twist of lime.
Like froggies in a boil, starting cold to the touch, we don’t even know when we’ve had too much.
Stir the pot and quaff and chomp, do the pharaoh zydecongo stomp.
All hail to the second son, Ludwig von. Crusading knight? Nope, he’s the dawn.
A scribe of higher glyphic range, a delta male, he’s all for change.
Some are the tethered, our bass is a pole, from a Princetown rumble he’s on a roll.
Invert the pyramid each day, carve relief into the urban decay.
Chimystère et boules de gomme, ceci est ce que nous sommes.
On ne se prend pas la tête, les jours se roulent et la vie est fête.
Whack those skins, slap the bass, pound the keys, guitar givin’ chase.
King cake crumble French Quarter romp, do the Congo Square zydecongo stomp.
The last by name, raised as pharaoh apparent, rejected the legacy; see, it’s errant.
Finally done fleeing my royal birth cuz every heart’s a beet pumping blood red earth.
The sea will split for those who dream, who never forget we all live downstream.
In the wilderness we find remaining a family just takes some time.

What We've Got

Written By: Sven Eberlein

Father can you help me I don't seem to understand.
I've seen too many people laying claim to mother's land.
What you've got to analyze are the signs in their eyes.
Sisters come on down and show the world where love has gone.
The part of you in everyone so afraid to be strong.
What you've got to show the man is your will to stand.
People can you hear the rumors flying through the air?
The kings of greed have left the ship and forgot to pay their share.
What we've got to do is fight for our souls to unite.
Silence has been the state of love for at least ten thousand years, while rules and laws were made by those
in the valley of our fears.
What we've got is me and you to break on through.

Cobblestone Below My Feet

Written By: Patty Hughes, Baba Ndjhoni, Sven Eberlein

Sitting in a garden with berries and a beer.
A visit by a marten, the ancient sun is near.
I used to think that time would change the way I feel the beat,
but now I'm only treading cobblestone below my feet.
The senses set to overflow, a weary mind it mends.
Returning in the evening, magic garden filled with friends.
Golden nectar brewed so pure with barely more than wheat.
The easier to float with cobblestone below my feet.
Cobblestone below my feet, what we see is not complete.
Beneath the cobble is history's heap, but few want to dig that deep.
Another day in heaven, I look into the sky.
Mars is getting lower, and the Earth is getting high.
I used to think the devil moved to Stuttgart down the street,
but now I find he's stealing cobblestone below my feet.
We'll return unless this time's the only one we'll get.
All the family has gotten set, even ones we haven't met.
Rings of planets makin' rounds, their return we'll always greet.
Dancing fates tap out a code on the stone below my feet.
Cobblestone below my feet, cobble the world and everyone you meet.
A stone so solid that you can build a center street.
Cobble me, cobble me, cobble me, make my stone complete.


Cobblestone Below My Feet - 2006
Live at the Sweatlodge - 2004
The Last Real Experience - 2003
The Space Between - 2001
Life in the Underground - 1998
Available through

Set List

95% original music, 5 % covers
usually play two full sets (75 minutes each) of mostly original music.