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Cex

Exotical Privates

(Automation; US: 4 Dec 2007; UK: Unavailable)

Cex Cells

When an artist releases a disc of remixes, it usually serves as just a stopgap between larger releases. Additionally, it allows other artists to come in and alter the DNA of a song, making sad songs funky and rock songs surprisingly moving. Yet what’s unusual about Cex’s Exotical Privates is how—in a rather unusual move—young Rjyan Kidwell actually remixes all of the tracks himself. Even more unusual: though the “remixes” are based off of his 2006 release Actual Fucking, this little stopgap disc might as well be called its own mini-album. This four-track dance affair clocks in at over thirty minutes. What’s most astonishing about it is how given such roomy track lengths, Kidwell doesn’t go off the deep end by indulging his every muse (besides, doesn’t he already do that on his regular full-lengths?). He keeps it all tight and snappy, focusing on solid hooks moreso than any other release in his back catalog.  Opening track “Bolton Hill” shoots his trademark electro-noodling straight into Paul Simon territory (!) while the acoustic-based “Hamilton” runs disintegrating vocal tracks over a washer full of sound effects, all while a stuttering cymbal track somehow survives underneath. It’s a joyous little disc whose only misstep is the nearly 10-minute “Charles Village”, which runs long on time but short on ideas (the Middle Eastern dance-floor concept has been done to death already). Yet even with that in mind, it’s hard to think of any other four-song EP that delivers the entertainment value of a full-length so readily. Top-notch.

Rating:

Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and multiple national newspapers. Evan has been a guest on WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry, and many others. He is a current member of The Recording Academy and resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


Tagged as: cex
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