CFCF: On Vacation
International Feel

Montreal native Michael Silver makes a powerful impression with On Vacation, his debut CFCF release for International Feel. At thirty-two minutes, the vinyl outing isn't long, but its eight tracks are rich in variety and style and appropriately multi-scenic for a recording so titled. In addition to his CFCF project, Silver has a few other irons in the fire: he spent part of 2015 scoring a film by Andrew Thomas Huang and is currently scoring a crime movie and, in collaboration with Cameron Reed, a feature film by David Lynch's son Austin.

On Vacation's opener “Sate Padang” immediately teases the ear with a tasty saxophones-thumb piano combination and seductively swinging groove, and the cut's sing-song melody can't help but lend the track a rather Pied Piper-like quality. Intended as an homage to Japanese composer Seigen Ono, “Arto” then uses a delicious blend of acoustic guitar, piano, and accordion to transport the listener to a breezy Brazilian locale; one could be forgiven for thinking of a prototypical tropical piece by Pat Metheny during the track's too-short three minutes. Speaking of jazz artists, the fretless playing that surfaces in “Lighthouse on Chatham Sound” could be taken for a Jaco nod by Silver, while “Pleasure Centre” works itself into a luscious, ‘80s-flavoured lather using slap bass and deep synth atmospheres. Elsewhere, the sultry “Fleurs Laisses dans un Taxi” sees Silver strolling along the banks of the Seine on a spring morning in Paris, whereas the peaceful stillness of a Japanese garden is evoked in the brief ambient setting “In the Courtyard.”

Of On Vacation, Silver, a music-maker since the age of twelve, reportedly said, “It's really gentle and low-key, and I hope that people will not take it too seriously,” but it's hard not to do so when the result is so impressive.

February 2016