Cex

Actual Fucking (Automation)

Now that's what I'm talking about — an album title that gets to the point. Thing is, Cex (the perpetually transforming solo project/group/something helmed by Rjyan Kidwell) misleads: Actual Fucking's toned-down slew of breakbeats, synths, and poppy guitar melodies sounds more like sonic foreplay than Kidwell's former albums, which previously focused on wildly different genres like IDM, hip-hop, and even emo. It's hardly surprising that he hops to yet another genre this time, but that genre isn't very clear. Is AF a rougher take on the post-Kid A sounds of Radiohead? The hip-pop of Beck? Or maybe a big middle finger to the dance-punk of groups like !!! and Franz Ferdinand? The answer is, it's all three and more. "Los Angeles" is probably the track that best represents the album — a seven-minute jam that has all the energy and danceability of Gorillaz and !!! without even half the effort. And while the material isn't as anthemic or stick-in-your-gut as the aforementioned bands (choruses like "Nothing must be perfect, nothing must be clear" just aren't much for singing along), the compositions certainly sound better suited for, well, Actual Fucking.

 
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