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Cex: Shamaneater is out 4/1; hear "Chipset" MP3 now.

posted Feb 20, 2014, 1:28 PM by Vu Nguyen
SHAMANEATER is an album and written story that contains a compressed universe hidden inside metafictional nesting dolls. With twelve tracks of smooth cyberpunk instrumentals and a brisk novella told in the style of a video game walkthrough, Rjyan Kidwell (aka Cex) relates the story of an obscure video game about video game addiction that reveals a terrifying ancient explanation for why digital technology is so seductive.

It’s Rjyan’s usual MO of demanding careful attention in exchange for a surprisingly satisfying payoff, but with all the stakes raised considerably. The music is a skilled blend of masterful editing and unchained improvisation on an array of obsolete digital synths and drum machines. SHAMANEATER’s soundtrack incorporates elements of classic techno, synthetic metal and lo-fi g-funk without ever being nostalgia-by-numbers (no chiptunes here, in case the phrase “video game” reflexively gives you that impression) or a survey of the latest fashionable microgenres.

The story (the first ever told in the style of overlooked literary goldmine builds on years of Rjyan’s highly-praised writing for print magazines like Arthur, Baltimore, and City Paper as well as a list of web publications that might double the length of this email. Written in an engaging style, no knowledge of or affection for video games past or present is necessary to be sucked into the twisting narrative. SHAMANEATER, as usual for this relentless producer, promises to pay long-term dividends to those who would invest the time to explore its spacious interior.

RIYL: Omar-S, Oneohtrix Point Never, Boards of Canada, Shangaan Electro