CYNE: Running Water
City Centre Offices

Featuring four tracks in vocal and instrumental versions, CYNE's latest 12-inch promisingly foreshadows its upcoming full-length Evolution Fight. As it did on last year's Growing EP (and City Centre Offices debut), CYNE tends to discordantly pair its biting vocal attack with sunny, piano-enhanced backdrops, an unusual approach that distinguishes it from the competition. The group's MCs smoothly trade verses over a sparking base on the title track and a more soulful groove in “Maintain” (with some nice scratching of the song's title taking it out). Running Water also includes contributions from two guests: Miami-based Locsmif, who gives a reprise of “Growing” a detail-heavy overhaul, and Keiran Hebden, who creates a pumping head-nodding base for the MCs in “Automaton (Four Tet Remix).” The songs work well as instrumentals too: “Automaton (Four Tet Instrumental)” brings its huge drum groove and sweet sing-song background vocal to the forefront, and the hypnotic dance of the title song's echo-laden piano line stands forth in sharper relief when heard without vocals.

June 2005