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BEST BAND TO BREAK UP IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS Minneapolis 2002 - Cenospecies

Though they had the career lifespan of a suicidal fruit fly, Cenospecies made one cool album before dying. For those who heard it, Indefinition (Peak Records) contains one of the most exciting moments in local recorded music circa 2001: Halfway through the largely a cappella "Hip Hop," the pounding beat of live drums and bass suddenly kicks in, and the sense of funky discombobulation is overwhelming. The crew manages such tricks throughout this strangely overlooked album, setting dense sample arrangements to hyperventilated lyrics and catchy choruses (such as the aphoristic "if the reason has no rhyme then the rhyme has no reason"). MCs P.O.S. and Syst (short for System) turned out to be the latest twist in a tired tradition of gifted local rappers recording only one album before breaking up (anyone heard from Abstract Pack lately?). Yet thank producer (and bassist-drummer) Anomaly (a.k.a. Jason Heinrichs) for first creating something worth tracking down.

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