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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

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Actual Fucking

I can't compare Cex's new album to past releases. I'm sorry. I haven't heard any of the others. But I've read that the guy behind Cex — Rjyan Kidwell — is an extremely crafty guy. I've heard he breaks the mold again and again. I've heard he's made all different kinds of sounds. I've heard he's insanely prolific. I've heard each record is a new approach, separate from the last. I've heard lots of people follow him. I've heard lots of people like him. And after hearing his latest, Actual Fucking, a number of times, I believe all these murmurs reached me for good reason.

Oh, another thing I heard: His vocals on Actual Fucking are louder, more upfront and more actual singing than ever before.

From my back-less perspective, I would say if Actual Fucking were just another experiment in how to approach music-making, it would be Kidwell's venture into '90s industrial-informed music. Still electronic, still danceable, still complicated, still all over the place ('cause that's what I've heard has been most constant to his songwriting), but now heavier, harder-hitting, vocals that scorch and snarl like only those '90s industrial artists could.

But set against snapping beats, keen electronics and intense emotion, Kidwell's collages aren't quite so cold. "Chicago" is one of my favorites; might just be the lyrics (I'm a sucker for clever word strings). Atop thunderous, crashing beats and eerily building, taunting electronics, he sneers: "Sometimes it seems to me that I/ I must've been born hanging out/ And that I must've been conceived hanging out/ And I probably incubated hanging out/ And I know I'm going to die by hanging/ And I know I'm going to die by hanging." He goes onto list all the places he hangs out, as if to poke fun at people who get around, or claim to anyway.

"Los Angeles" (no, not all songs are named after cities, just two) also stands out for its infectious, textured beat, reggae rhythms and speedy, robotic line delivery: "Nothing must be certain, nothing must be clear/ Nothing must be perfect/ nothing must be clear." I'm not clear on everything Cex, but I've heard enough to know you want to hear this.

by Jenny Tatone

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