CFCF treads dark waters on The River. Where the 22 year old Montreal based producer CFCF’s (Michael Silver) debut album Continent (Paper Bag 2009) hinted at primal and ambient themes, The River fully transports the listener to a heart of darkness. Inspired by Werner Herzog’s visual masterpiece Fitzcarraldo, The River follows a dream-like arc, lucid sound sequences from a lunatic mind.
The River’s voyage begins with “Before and After Light”, a track based around a cyclical finger-picking sample and ghostly tones that could form the core of an Ambient Eno album. “It Was Never Meant to Be This Way” furthers the vessel along on a wash of synth waves and a melancholy chopstick piano figure. Around the bend to the a-side’s end is the choral, Popul Vuh-inspired cosmic guitar shredding of “Upon the Hill”.
“Frozen Forest” heightens the grandeur opening the b-side with a slow-mo break beat and arpreggiating bass work out. The title track casts doomsday shadows before the best use of a master blaster drum attack since DJ Shadow’s “Stem / Long Stem”. After the unrest, “Orage” drifts on a bed of wreckage into an uncertain dusk.
The digital bonus version of The River (included w/ vinyl purchase) features remixes of “Frozen Forest” by Rvng house and House DJ Jacques Renault and London’s Balearic bishops Coyote plus a midi-funked out remix of “It Was Never Meant to Be This Way” by Games, the dance production duo of Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) and Joel Ford (Tiger City).
The first pressing of The River is limited to 550 vinyl copies. The first run of jackets are printed black offset with a bronze letterpress overprint on heavy news board. Jacket concept and design by Kevin O’Neill of Will Work For Good, based loosely on the weathered map that lead Fitzcarraldo to madness and freedom. Digital available here and through the usual storefront suspects.