Here's a little review piece I wrote for the IODA Marketing Blog on CYNE's new album Water For Mars. It's real underground hip hop at it's finest.
By: Elijah Carroll
Title: Water For Mars
Genre: Hip-Hop : Indie
Release Date: 8/11/09
Territory: Americas, Europe, Australia, Africa
CYNE (pronounced "sign") is a Hip Hop quartet out of Gainsville, FL and stands for Cultivating Your New Experience. Comprised of emcees Akin (Akin Yai) and Cise Star (Clyde Graham) and backed by producers Speck (Michael Gersten) and Enoch (David Newell) CYNE is a four man indie hip hop powerhouse. Formed in 2001 in the swamps of Gainsville, CYNE put out a number of releases on various smaller labels until landing on Hometapes for last year's release of their critically acclaimed LP Pretty Dark Things. Now with their second release on Hometapes in as many years CYNE is here to stay. With an initial release in Japan back on May 2nd (P-Vine Records) Water For Mars has already been receiving rave reviews from the blogosphere and is on many indie hip hop best of 2009 lists.
Seven years after their formation CYNE has honed their collective talents and is clearly at the top of their game. The delicate balance between accessible and too mainstream is something many indie hip hop groups struggle with. On Water For Mars it's clear CYNE has mastered that balance while remaining true to themselves and most importantly their music. Speck and Enoch's beats bump with classic samples, thick synths and deep drum sounds. Akin and Cise Star's lyrics are poignant and gritty, rooted firmly in the present with a old school hip hop aesthetic.
At 21 tracks including a revisiting of "Elephant Rome" feat. Daedalus (originally released on Pretty Dark Things) and a remix of "Sleep" by Mexicans With Guns, Water For Mars is a true hip hop journey. In many ways CYNE is following in the footsteps of their most influential predecessors. Perfecting hip hop's ability to tackle racial and political issues while remaining true to the music that started at street parties in Harlem. As their Hometapes page points out:
“Their often politically-charged, culturally-introspective, and motivational lyrics find influence rooted in the early works of Nas, Public Enemy, Outkast and Common Sense. The production could be described as warm, soulful and organic -- born out of the school of producers that cite the likes of RZA, Pete Rock, Jay Dee, and DJ Premier. CYNE's 'sound' is impacted by everything from Bad Brains to Krautrock, from Camp Lo to Kate Bush, from Venezuelan Gaita to West African Highlife -- it's a hybrid of emotional, historical, and challenging influences.”
Here's a track off of Water For Mars:
"Pretty Apollo" (mp3)
from "Water For Mars"
Buy at iTunes Music Store
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