‘Outside’ is the first full-length from Montreal producer Michael Silver, better known as CFCF, since his debut, ‘Continent’, emerged four years ago. In between, a series of EPs have traced Silver’s progression to this point.
For ‘Outside’, he’s ditched the beats of his earlier work in favour of an electronic sound that’s far more light and soothing. However, given the prevalence of airy synths and what suspiciously sound like panpipes, this collection has a tendency to resemble the kind of new-age background music that would accompany a time-lapse video of a sunset in a nature documentary.
Sadly, when ‘Outside’ veers dangerously close to Muzak, it’s devoid of the glitches and deconstructive experimentation that makes the hypnagogic pop it resembles exciting and mind-expanding. Instead, it far too often simply passes you by, casts a glance to ‘80s power ballad sincerity and – particularly on the tracks with vocals – sounds like an inferior Tears For Fears.
Some of the wordless songs strike an intriguing line between meditative groove and techno, but for the most part CFCF is approaching the kind of sounds more associated with artifice than art, and doing so with a completely straight face. Some may find something deep and spiritual amongst the cuts on ‘Outside’, but it just makes this reviewer want to stay indoors.
Words: Joe Rivers
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Stream tracks by CFCF via Deezer, below…