Review ·

Idealism and the disappointment that the reality of a dream come true never meet expectations: This is one way to look at the sixth record from Cex, who's gained notoriety for being a non-musician who makes statements with noise. Somehow, though, it all comes together for him. Whether he's messing around with a laptop and freestyling into a microphone or hiding behind a studio effort of dark, synthetic storytelling, Rjyan Kidwell is tired of coating with sugar. Actual Fucking is a bold statement of what was merely hinted at on his previous albums -- contact, sweat, love/hate, fighting, fucking, co-existing. Interactions that affect lives are the sorts of drugs that his music draws inspiration from.

 

Musicians often feel they have the ability to express something through a sonic language, and they shape it to their advantage to paint their opinions the way they see fit. It's been three years since Cex's previous album, Maryland Mansions, and he takes what he's been given in the daily crossfire of life -- compiling, amalgamating, and recycling. The concept is that the helplessness we all bitch about in the Age of Disconnect as 21st-century digital boy/girls is bogus. The result is a record that jumps around in its frantic boundaries, knocking down the walls of hesitation that Cex seems to find in a lot of the "dark bullshit" that surrounds us. It's disturbing like a Mike Patton record, with blink-and-you'll-miss-it lyrics that serve as confrontational one-liners.

 

So, are liner notes that detail explicit sexual encounters and include raunchy art that features actual pussy dismissible as tasteless pornography or lame sensationalism? They're neither. In fact, the liners notes are a test. They'll separate those who won't bother to listen to what's inside because they can't give anything with artwork like that a fair chance from those who will be drawn in faster than, well, actual fucking. Once you're Actual[ly] Fucking, you delve into a storm of confrontation ("Los Angeles," with its you-have-nowhere-to-run-girl lyrics) and primal rhythmic invitation with the opener, "Baltimore." The further you go, the more you can see distance between what the record seemed to promise and how Cexual healing is about breaking down assumption. That we idealize who we should be, and are consistently let down by a carrot-and-stick chase to meet goals that feed like a vicious cycle on lack of raw honesty with both ourselves and others. Idealism and the disappointment that the reality of a dream come true never meet expectations: For all those times someone ever said, "Well, do something about it" to an artist's complaints, Cex finally took a chance with this record.

 

***

Artist: http://brainwashed.com/tb6/cex/

Label: http://www.automationrecords.com/

"Baltimore" MP3

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