If I was an irritating 35-year-old, and I wanted to find a cool show to impress people with, then I would show up for at least 30 minutes of this one.
If I was an irritating 35-year-old, I might already know about 19-year-old Rjyan Kidwell, aka Cex, because people are starting to catch on. URB has written about him, John Peel plays him, and major labels have spoken to him. This kid deserves to be famous, and he probably will be. But it doesn't mean his music's all trikes and candy canes.
He says, "I want people to like what I'm doing, but that doesn't necessarily mean I have to do what the people already like. Pop music CAN be original, it can be great."
It seems like a simple concept, but it's a rare sentiment in the world of electronic music.
It would be easy to compare him to Aphex Twin. On the surface, their strange melodies and hyperactive beats sound very similar; but look a bit deeper, and the difference is clear. Cex is more real. Funny, serious, melancholy, and euphoric: He's giving it to you straight up. Even on his website, rjyan.com, he lays it out without the bullshit, displaying well over 100 diary entries for anyone to read. The personal supercedes everything else in his music, and it's a charming departure from all the posing and posturing that usually accompanies "intelligent techno."
When he plays Portland on Sunday, don't expect him to do all the songs on Role Model--that's not his style. He likes to get goofy on stage, so you don't have to just stare at him while he tweaks knobs and plays with his laptop. Cex will go crazy--ADD-style crazy--giving the audience extreme energy and emotion, in keeping with the philosophy behind his music and diaries.
In addition, Tigerbeat6's newest signing, Stars As Eyes, will be appearing alongside him. This is the label that brought you Kid 606. Need I say more?
So, it will be a hipster outing. But his music supercedes the surface, and after it's over, you'll feel like you know Cex personally.