steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Starship Galactica" CD

Temporary Residence Ltd

Genres: electro, IDM

June 6 - 12 2005

This Cex disc is a reissue of Ryjan Kidwell's 2001 sophomore album, a hard-to-find CD that came out on the 555 Recordings imprint.  As added incentive, Temporary Residence has added three bonus tracks to the record, and has glossed up the packaging to appeal to modern-day hip standards.

Musically, this disc sees Cex in top form.  This is electro with attitude - Ryjan intersperses delicious slabs of IDM with clever skits to create a fun yet cohesive record.  The tracks run the gamut from Boards of Canada style IDM ("Cal and Brady Style," "Cex Can Kiss My Soft, Sensuous Lips") to Mouse on Mars-esque glitchy techno ("Get in Yr Squads," "Your Handwriting When You Were a Chlid in the Winter").  The short little skits add novelty value, each one with its own silly gag.  The title-track, "Starship Galactica," meanwhile, is a goofy little relic seemingly from someone's old home recordings.

The three bonus tracks add some depth to the record - they were apparently done in 1996, the first songs Ryjan ever made on his computer.  Considering this, they're pretty impressive: "Friends Fall Down" is a piece of dark, videogame influenced electro that lays a bunch of vocal samples onto a dense techno backbone, "Monster-Face Pills" is a rapid (though bland) slab of typical electronica, and "Bunky" is a messy albeit entertaining gob of deranged IDM.  Obviously the bonus tracks aren't as smooth or professional as Cex's later work, but they add some interesting context to Ryjan's development as a musician.

Anyone with an interest in IDM and indie electronica needs to check out this reissue.  Cex is one of the scene's modern leaders, and Starship Galactica stands to be seen as one of the genre's more important records a few years from now.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks + 1 hidden, distributed by the label, released 2005]