Published Jul 29, 2015Moving away from the downtempo electronic production that took priority in his earlier work, a more prominent emphasis on acoustic instruments lately has been a slight change of pace for Michael Silver, known better as CFCF. With Radiance and Submission, the Montreal musician attempts a serene matrimony of the two musical sides that struggles to strike a balance between stimulating and stale when it comes to the record's overarching sound.
Digging deep within the layered intricacies of "In Praise of Shadows," the luminous "Tethered in Dark" and the soothing "Blanketed in Snow a Place Returned" is undoubtedly rewarding, though not everything is as calculated and complementary. Silver's use of his own voice as a texture on "La Soufrière" functions much better than it does at the forefront of "The Ruined Map," while the arpeggiated, synthesized melody of "Sculptures of Sand" proves a bit too repetitive in driving the slow-burning piece forward. "A Various Language (From the Same Hill)" borders on the indulgent side of new age music with its airy, reverb-drenched acoustic guitar improvisations.
In a handful of moments, Radiance and Submission is a stunningly simple, meditative listen — provided one's attention span doesn't fall victim to the spacious sonics first. (Driftless)