Friday, March 7, 2008

Cex "Oops, I Did It Again!" (Tigerbeat6, 2001)

Artist: Cex
Album: "Oops, I Did It Again"
Release Date: October 12, 2001
Label: Tigerbeat6
Genre: IDM, Experimental-Techno, Ambient-Techno, Glitch
Mood: Hunorous, Aggressive, Messy, Harsh
Reminds Of: Kid606, Boards Of Canada, Aphex Twin, Autechre
What People Think: AllMusicGuide
Definitely Worth Buying: Amazon

1. (You're Off) The Food Chain
2. Eleven Million Dollars Worth Of Bearer Bonds
3. Destination: Sexy
4. First For Wounds
5. I Said It Knowing Full Well I Had No Intention Of Doing It
6. Texas Menstruates
7. It's All About Guilt
8. Flex On Cex, Eh
9. I Don't Think You Do Sin, Julia
10. Florida (Is Shaped Like A Big Droopy Dick For A Reason)
11. OD'd On First Base
12. Keep Pretending
13. Not Trying
14. After #4 Matrix Sndtrk. Rob D 'Clubbed To Death'

Cex is an interesting guy. Not only does he never play any of his recorded material live (from what I've read, in any case), he also freestyles, plays mic stands like they were trombones, and really gets the crowd to participate. Which is why, after buying his CD Oops, I Did It Again!, I was so surprised. You see, it's not the iMac driven hip-hop he was busting loose onstage. No, it's... it's completely different! There's hardly a trace of hip-hop, besides some of the beats he uses; it's mostly skittish electronics with warm guitar sounds and drones overtop. And is that a good thing? Hell yeah. The album starts and ends on a melancholy note. From the a cappella tape recording of Cex (also known as Rjyan Kidwell) singing to the home recorded message left by a girl right before graduation; it's pretty poignant. Again, the first track, "(You're) Off the Food Chain" is about as organic and sad as they come, with Cex singing "Tar baby I know you look at me/I look at you/I think you're pretty, and tar baby/I know you're on a pedestal/up high in the garden, and I'm down in the mud below." About halfway through he stops singing, and a guitar comes in. He soon begins to manipulate his voice, sampling bits and pieces of what he's just sung. It's amazing. The last track, on the other hand, is simply depressing. On a tape recorder a girl says, "I don't know if you can hear me, because I'm talking in a headset and my voice is kind of morphed because of it. [...] I just figured this would be a really lame way of telling you I like you, in person or on the phone or something, but telling you on tape, which is probably worse than all of that put together." This continues for maybe a minute, and it really sums up the album well. What's in the middle of the album, between those two songs, fluctuates between funny, happy, depressing, and a whole bunch of other emotions that I can't really think of or put into words right at the moment. The song "I Said it Knowing Full Well I Had No Intention of Doing It" combines washes of ambient texture and guitar figures to create something that's really beautiful. I'd go as far as to say it's my favourite song on the album (either that or "(You're) Off the Food Chain"), and it functions well as a more relaxed break from all of the electro-beats. Next is "Texas Menstruates," which is as funky as "I Said it..." was somber. Another noteworthy item within Oops, I Did it Again! is Cex's bizarre sense of humour. Not only do the liner notes depict Rjyan brutally killing a woman and disposing of the evidence (yeah, I know!). No, there's also a skit (wherein Cex assumes both of the voices of a mother and daughter arguing about "the naked man cooking eggs in the kitchen"), and song titles ("Flex on Cex," "Florida (Is Shaped Like a Big Droopy Dick for a Reason)", the album title). It doesn't get much better than that. So, I guess you'd say I really dig this, even though I was misled with his awesome live performance. When I saw him during his tour with the Dismemberment Plan, in London, Ontario, he got a pretty cold response from the crowd. Frankly, that surprised me. His show was so energetic and fun that I'm surprised more people didn't get up. Then again, when it was a club filled with kids there to see Death Cab for Cutie, I guess it's not all that surprising that they didn't completely fall for a skinny white guy freestyling about Sweden, riding bikes, Chess, and Osama bin Laden. Nonetheless, this record is triple-t hottt, and I highly recommend it.


"The naked man cooking eggs in the kitchen..."


myrkursoli said...

copy the link into your web browser

Zer0_II said...

I've added your blog to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blogroll @

I don't normally add blogs as new as yours, but I think you have some good music here, and I look forward to seeing what you post in the future. Thanks for linking to me. Take care.

roygbiv said...

This is a great blog! The reviews are very inspiring and get me excited to hear the album. Thank you.

Link down.

myrkursoli said...

Thank you Roygbiv for your kind words. Here's a new Cex link:

Death Of The Left Unfinished