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Cairo was formed in San Francisco, CA, in the early '90s by Mark Robertson (keyboards, vocals), Alec Fuhrman (guitars, vocals), Jeff Brockman (drums, percussion), Rob Fordyce (bass), and Bret Douglas (lead vocals). The group self-produced their eponymous debut at their home studio, releasing it in 1994 on the Magna Carta label. The album showed a heavy ELP-influenced keyboard sound and high-pitched vocals that bore similarities to Yes's frontman, Jon Anderson. The band spent two years working on their sophomore effort, Conflict and Dreams, during which time Fordyce left the group. The band decided not to replace him, but worked with bassist Jamie Browne in recording the album, which was released in 1998. Although the sound of the record was not vastly different than their debut, it did show an increased complexity in sound and production. In 2000, Fuhrman left the band, but the band played on and issued Time of Legends in June 2001. Cairo has also performed material on various Magna Carta prog rock tribute albums.