Flop at the Box Office
Last year, Montreal producer CFCF (neé Michael Silver) began to put out a series of EPs which served as interpretations of his surroundings. Exercises turned into a fortunate formula of songcraft, toeing a fine line between theoretical soundtrack work and the warm, globby electronica of his earliest releases and remixes. Music for Objects continues the series but strays somewhat from this narrow path, as it is content instead to just hang out at the local cinema.
Many artists prior to Music for Objects, including CFCF himself, have executed the cyclical-piano-tone style to make music which sounds more like dance music than it does Windham Hill. There’s a lot of this going on in the EP’s scant 24 minutes: songs like “Glass” and “Ring” feature this conceit prominently, with the expectation that scenes from some foreign love story will flash before your eyes.
Silver also incorporates other instruments which suggest incidentals from the most stilted and stereotypical dramas and action flicks of the mid-to-late 1980s. The tuned percussion of “Turnstile” makes us wonder what would have happened if the earlier work of Controlled Bleeding had shown up in Less Than Zero. There’s meowing bass slides in “Camera” which recall Wall Street, while the synthesized drums and simmering sax in “Keys” are Lethal Weapon clarion calls.
It seems that even with some of the more calculated risks here, Silver’s high piano-to-beats ratio might be this EP’s true downfall. Even the one track that works best, “Bowl,” focuses on low woodwind sounds; overall, Music for Objects features scant drums, glitching, and other obvious tech elements we’ve heard from Silver in the past. CFCF stumbles over M83’s throwback methodology here, but instead of deftly maintaining his balance or being caught and supported by studio players, he falls flat.