Actual Fucking (Automation)


Cex performs at Hailey's on Sunday, June 11, with Love of Everything and the Laptop Deathmatch Squad.

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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: AF's toned-down slew of break beats, 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 !!!? Answer is, it's all three and more. "Los Angeles" is probably the best representative of the album, a seven-minute jam that has all the energy and danceability of Gorillaz and !!! without even half of 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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