Published Apr 24, 2012Today (April 24), Montreal's CFCF is celebrating the release of his latest EP Exercises, a record that is more influenced by the modern classical minimalism of Philip Glass and the ambient work of Brian Eno than the more upbeat synth wave and beat-driven electronica of his debut album Continents.
"It was kind of an attempt to dial back my usual way of working and make something that was a more improvisational," the producer born Mike Silver tells Exclaim! "It's an exercise in simplifying the composing process, to make it a little purer as opposed to trying to convey atmosphere with synth pads and drum fills as I usually would have done in the past."
Exercises consists of eight mostly instrumental tracks with evocative piano parts riding over a background of warm ambience, and as Silver explains, "A lot of it is looped based. It's nothing too complicated, just simple melodies and simple piano arrangements."
During the creation of the mini-album, Silver became obsessed with the now-crumbling institutional architecture that dominates downtown Montreal and turned to it as inspiration for many of the pieces.
"I was thinking about being in a specific kind of building, like a government building or library. They are beautiful in their own right but they are oppressive too. You can't help but feel this hushed awe for the concrete."
Silver is keen to make it clear that Exercises is not a new permanent direction for CFCF, but neither will he be returning to what he's done before.
"I get bored or afraid of continuously doing one thing," he says. "I get inspired by new music or old music I've never heard before and sort of internalize them and it comes out in my music... I listen to a lot of different types of music but I don't see them as all that separate. Sonically there's so many different ways that different types of music come together or intersect."
As far as future projects go, Silver says, "I have a couple of other records in the works, one with RVNG Intl. I did a record in 2010 called The River with them but this one will be completely different from that and from Exercises. I can't really say that much about it, but it's a kind of new age odyssey I guess."
After that Silver plans to finish his second full-length album, though it's unclear at this point when the as-yet-untitled full-length will see the light of day.
"It will be a poppier album," says Silver, "not quite like Continent or really like anything else I've done. More song-based, with lyrics. I'll be singing the majority of the songs but there will hopefully be guest vocals but we'll see."
For now, stream Exercises here on Exclaim.ca and pick up the record via Paper Bag Records.