Find Yourself In Each Other
Cascades comes from the joining of Michael Silver, the producer behind CFCF, and pianist Jean-Michel Blais. Though the EP features only five songs, it spans a total of 30 minutes, as the two creative minds explore musical themes that are reminiscent of their previous works, while also coming together for the first time to forge a unique sound.
“Hasselblad 1” eases into Cascades with the most subdued of synth work layered in between Blais’s notes, all of which overlay the background of rain. For this intro, the keys remain the main focus, while the electronic elements are largely minimal, used just enough to make the piano figures sound unreal while still remaining organic.
“Two Mirrors” follows and the peacefulness from before remains for only a moment before the piano comes in, rushed, staccato and almost sounding artificially looped. CFCF’s contribution is more apparent, bridging the gap between the tension that exists within the frenetic piano rhythms and constant relaxed background noise. The full, ten-seconds of silence at the end is needed to fully recover from this intensity.
With “Spirit,” it becomes an experiment in control. While, before, a certain chaos was present, here, the tension is built subtly and the controlled technique could go almost unnoticed. Meanwhile, in “Hypocrite,” both artists become active, as crescendos are shared equally between the two. Working together as such, there is an overflow of emotions that comes together, making “Hypocrite” possibly the most engaging song on Cascades. “In A Landscape (Rework)” closes out the album with CFCF and Blais sounding more developed individually than together like in “Hypocrite.” Each side fully unitizes its own strengths to craft its own sound. All in all, the ten-and-half minute outro keeps the mind both relaxed and engaged.
Simply put, Cascades is a beautiful album. Each song develops in its own right, creating and building tension, while never dragging. Though the two concepts that are built upon could easily combat one another, creating a whole other intense album, they do not and instead find where the other fits inside. A second collaboration can only bring on the chance for a complete experiment.