December 24, 2009

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CFCF, Continent
Paper Bag Records, Nov. 23

In general, people are served utter slop when it comes to ambient techno. It’s this simple truth that Montreal DJ Michael Silver (Sally Shapiro’s newly chosen opening act) would appear to be holding in mind for the first five-or-so minutes of his debut full-length, in the Codebase-like shopping-mall-house of “Raining Patterns” and the Warehouse-disco-tinged “Big Love.” Big whoop, being that you can download so much similar stuff for free (and just so’s you know, Codebase, Tea Freaks, etc. etc. actually did do some interesting stuff within these often cheesy late-’90s confines). Worse, I have to wonder whether this peach-fuzzy kid ever bothered to take a good hard listen to what’s been done by his predecessors prior to taking the plunge as an artist himself (the line is that he’s into film soundtracking such as has been heard previously within the work of Werner Herzog and David Cronenberg, which instantly makes me think that he’s trying to stretch a little knowledge into impossible lengths), even if there are a couple of good things on here once he gets warmed up, such as the kettle drums and hesitant but lofty hard-rock guitar solos that make the wispy (if rote) “You Hear Colors” something you could practice yoga to. “Monolith” is another nice one, making like a super-extended intro to something from an Armin van Burren trance compilation. B- Eric W. Saeger