Review Summary: The River sees Michael Silver chartering new territory in the already melodious world he has created for his listeners.
If one has not had the chance to enjoy some time lead by the musical influence of Montréal, QC born Michael Silver, artistically known as CFCF, a change in pace may be required. Moving from his debut full-length album Continent, CFCF is back at it, and ready to take whoever’s listening along for the journey. The River, a 9-song effort with a third of which being reformations of included works sees Silver chartering new territory in the already melodious world he has created.
Momentum is a dedicated endeavor seen in The River. From the get-go, a smooth progression is made from conflicting moods of ambience, melody and rhythm. Such momentum, however, is not of the likes of a typical trance/techno DJ. Silver places his concentration on intention within the music itself, creating a soundscape for the listener that is vivid in detail. Whatever descriptive or narrative hints one may get from the track titles are virtually unneeded, as the music seems to conjure a life of its own. The momentum serves a purpose by expanding that picture; It does not boost the decibel levels of the same beat in order to achieve a peak to the two minute build-up the song has been producing. The title track is a prime example, and is also enjoyably the longest track on the album (not including the remixes), creating a lush landscape through a weaving melody and a half-timed, thunderous, tribal-like beat. The real kicker is that the pulse is cut off at the summit of the track. The listener is immersed into a world of cascading tones and vibes around the 4:15 mark, completely void of percussion, and completely fine without. The song in itself is an adventure to listen to.
Much are the other songs. Gone are Silver’s groove injected synths reminiscent of a once-loved Genesis game. What has replaced them is a sound all its own. CFCF’s distinct portrayal of electronic music remains, however with a new purpose. One that is still founded with a theme, yet is audibly more inspiring.
For those who might miss the funk and dance-like motives behind Continent, there are luckily three remixes included that tend to that desire. Although some may feel remixes in themselves are more or less filler, these tracks finish off the album solidly, conveying an equally engaging rendition of the original. They serve as an intriguing reflection of previous points within the album, actually saving the the listener from the somewhat anti-climactic finisher entitled Orage. Arguably one of the only weak points of the album, Orage lacks what the previous five tracks carry in character. It luckily manages to finish sooner than the rest of the tracks, so as to not outstay its welcome.
In essence, Silver’s intuitive use of momentum and rhythm are inventively redefined and remastered with his sophomore work. The River is a steady stream (pun intended) of conscience-absorbing bliss that the listener will have no problem getting lost in over and over again.