CFCF CFCFThe River
RVNG INTL. (RVNGNL04, LP + digital)
CFCF is in a difficult position. His first efforts, like “Parnesian Nights” (Paper Bag, 2009) and “Continent”, on which he already showed his sickly obsession with the mysterious sounds of eighties music, were released before people started talking excessively about pop hypnagogia, and because of guesswork he was associated with the last puff of the already finished electroclash cigarette –although he was always closer to David Sylvian’s Japan than to Visage, for example, despite having worked with Sally Shapiro and remixed The Presets. But when you talk about pop hypnagogia and consider bands like Games or How To Dress Well the maximum representatives of the genre today, it turns out CFCF already possesses an aura of dance producer that positions him apart from the group of subtle alchemists of misty moods and fragile melodies. “The River” is, therefore, Canadian Michael Silver’s attempt (still in time, we hope) to re-situate himself where he should always been, as a maker of slow-mo and easy-going synth-pop, a man who, if he had to choose between Ryuichi Sakamoto and Depeche Mode, would probably prefer the Japanese maestro. “The River”, which looks like an album but is really an EP of generous duration, contains hardly any beats –and when he uses them he keeps them well under control so that they won’t wreak havoc– and does show a torrent –the river from the title– of delicate moods, underlined with piano and pastoral textures that reach their climax in the final minutes, on “Orange”, where the Boards Of Canada comparisons finally becomes clear.
Before that, there are flirtations between the cosmic and the horizontal. It seems to have the secret ambition to be some kind of symphonic dialogue between nature and the exterior cosmos with the more earthly nuance of wanting to sound summery, as if Com Truise, Tropics and other new talents of the dreamy hypnagogia with punch had toned down their enthusiasm with a production by Harold Budd (check out the sequence of “Frozen Forest”, which adds Jan Hammer and Tangerine Dream to the equation, and “The River”, which is pure Cocteau Twins without vocals). The vinyl also comes with downloadable remixes by Jacques Renault, Coyote and Games.