Continent really isn’t the kind of debut you expect from a producer who can safely be called a “remixer du jour,” having provided solid reworks for a slew of prominent artists (HEALTH, Sally Shapiro, The Presets). In fact, CFCF, a.k.a. Michael Silver, is frequently lumped in with electronic artists who would produce that other kind of album: abrasive, kitsch-y, bombastic, tiresome “bangers,” thriving on the idea that more is more and who cares if it’s good because it’s more. Fortunately for Silver, his sensibilities are able to rise above the mess of what’s cheap and easy and get to the stuff that sounds good.
Continent is a decidedly chill album. Some might say dangerously chill, as its lax attitude veers slightly toward the non-danceable, despite its steady bass and bright, consistently balearic feel. It’s a more mature danceable, though, really a wholly different kind of animal than the overtly poppy, frilly stuff that most young people put on when they feel like they’ve got body heat to burn. It’s as if CFCF managed to fit the feel of driving in a foreign sports car along a coastal road to your mistress’ Italian villa into 65 minutes of audio.
That uniformity of style is definitely one of Continent‘s strengths, but it also does the album a slight disservice: The entire record is that very sumptuous journey, that study in cool. Much like this analogy, CFCF teases his work’s build-up for too long. Continent never takes us to that villa, or at least lets us fool around in the backseat with a wanton Mrs. Officer who pulls us over for speeding because we really, really want to get to that villa.
CFCF’s in a tough spot, seeing as the thing that makes Continent good is also holding it back from being great. Have hope, though; this is just the first CFCF album. Silver will probably have this whole thing worked out by the time Hemisphere rolls around.