Rjyan Kidwell’s dream over Steely Dan. A pull
and a retch from a slummy gut. A series of releases and repetiitions.
Testimony and disillusion. And over and over again, over all, a full
piece of positively dystopic techno. Killer opening track and quite
possibly the best album from
Cex so far. Definitely grab this and plug
it through some headphones. Cex is Gustav Mahler and Tristan Fabriani.
We have recently seen more than a few crafty
young lads launching themselves to minor idol hood using the
once-forbidden technique of the unauthorized remix. Today, mash-ups
can be heard in television commercials and at high school proms… but in
a dirty corner of Baltimore known as “Roland Park” (because of its
surfeit of analog synthesizer enthusiasts) Rjyan Kidwell —aka Cex— has
remained dedicated to the blasphemous spirit of the technique’s origin.
On his new long-player DANNIBAL, Rjyan doesn’t
just conveniently ignore laws concerning intellectual property rights,
he revels ecstatically in their flagrant desecration. Cexman
straight-up mutilates a suite of jazz fusion classics, splicing,
chopping, and thumbscrewing them as he forcibly subverts their will
unto his own. Most repulsive of all, though, is that it is clear from
the obsessively-detailed nature of these sadistic remixes that Cexman
believes his heinous crime is ameliorated (or even justified!) somehow
by the passionate love he feels for the jazz fusion originals. As if,
surrounded by six obscenely violated jazz fusion hits, Cexman affects a
European accent and suggests that he is not a dangerous criminal but a
dedicated lepidopterist— just like other postmodern perverts like
Vladimir Nabokov and EB Ford have tried to do in the past.
Despite the highly accessible sound of these
audio perversions, there really aren’t any other electronic music
producers out there today who commit crimes against hit songs with
anything close to the levels of lustful depravity exhibited on DANNIBAL.
The good news is this: because the accompanying
artwork has been exquisitely letter-pressed by fellow traveler Robot
Neutron, Cex’s new record is only available in an edition of 100
cassettes and 500 LPs. If we act quickly, upstanding Americans can
purchase all of these copies and destroy them, swiftly (and legally)
denying Cexman the free press that would indubitably accompany a
protracted court battle.
Dannibal (WFWF007, 2008) is an LP with letter-pressed jackets by Robot Neutron
CEX has released many full-lengths on TigerBeat6 (a label he helped to create), Temporary Residence, Jade Tree and Automation.
CEX has toured the USA, Europe and Japan. Tour
partners have included Ecstatic Sunshine, Dismemberment Plan and
unlikely tour-supporters The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie.
The CEX band has included Roby Newton (Milemarker, Lexie Mountain Boys)
and Cale Parks (Aloha, White Williams).
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