Category Archives: CFCF

Les Vacances de M. Silver

Featuring : CFCF

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Our favourite Grammy nominated purveyor of Phil Collins ambient New Age experimentalism is back!  Back!  On one of our favourite labels no less.

Given the blissful, drifting dreamscape that makes up large parts of CFCF‘s mini-album, On Vacation, International Feel does seem like a good fit.  Although this is the still pond to label boss Mark Barrott’s bird filled forest.

Channelling all the good stuff about Eno’s ambient excursions, Lighthouse on Chatham Sound still keeps CFCF’s oar in with the early 80s AOR  worlds he’s been exploring recently.

A simple looped melody laps back and forth under a blissfully spaced out guitar.  Any key change or accumulation of sound, simply testament to quite how consumed your are by the whole blissful experience  — a fever of relaxation.

CFCF – Lighthouse on Chatham Sound

Lighthouse on Chatham Sound is taken from On Vacation, which is out today.  Get it from Boomkat or other purveyors of fine music.

The Wine Bar at the End of the Universe

Featuring : CFCF

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CFCF’s The Colours of Life has been our summer.   A 40 minute track comprised of a ‘lost’ album originally planned for RVNG but now released, as a single instrumental piece on 1080p.  We played it, and played it again.  Repeat after repeat, marvelling at the seamlessness of the whole thing, the drift of Phil Collins‘s New Age worlds into each other.  We knew it was originally many tracks, each to be farmed out to different vocalists but the whole seemed impervious to that slicing.

And then we saw it.  When we squinted real hard at the artwork on our iPhone screen, it was right there, beneath a grid of 16 animal shapes.  Behold, a track list!  Dan Brown would be all over this shit.

So at last we were able to identify that ‘the Michael Mann bit but with pan pipes’ is actually the last track: Return.  And our subject for today, previously know as ‘sax bit’, is actually Nightmusic.

CFCF – Nightmusic

Nightmusic is so smooth it could open its own wine bar and have it survive outside the square mile.  A wine bar filled with wicker and fake palms and lit with blue neon light.  A wine bar so impossibly awesome that it’s situated in the penthouse of some glass and steel phallus.  A roof garden catching the midnight rain as the punters catch their ennui reflected back in crystalline mirrors, hazed in cocaine.  So smooth, so sad.

The Colours of Life is out on 1080p today.  You can get it digitally or on tape (only a few copies left when we ordered ours) right here.

Your Life is a Failed State

Featuring : CFCF

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(art is by Siggi Eggertsson.)

If events around you conspire to make your life a failed state, where even your own body sides against you, then there are only two logical means of defence:

1. Call Saul, live in a log cabin for a month, buy a big fuck off machine gun and use SCIENCE to create a dynamo in the desert that will engage the trigger on said fuck off machine gun and spray its payload in a swivelling 45 degree spread forever until all of your enemies are dead.

2. Imagine your life as a film.

It was  after a particularly aggravating day embedded in the lair of largely unspoken psychopathy that is the modern office environment that I slid the new CFCF album into my brain, boarded a train, and zoned the fuck out. Semi-conscious, exhausted, each tone bubble and block and pastel shade of synthesizer became new kinds of cranium-pressure-relieving drugs. Those barely sung yet still somehow widescreen vocals became a hushed orchestra. Somehow, incredibly, the whole thing seemed to move and change and breathe as one thing, with no component parts, just this big huge… sigh… of music, breathing.

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My soul exhaled in time with it.

And my train journey became cinematic. I could feel the grot and nastiness of a days’ worth congealed petty grievances flaking off me like scales. Maybe motion was the necessary ingredient, but behind my eyelids my mind played out abstract images of consoling colours, the train pulling me backwards through space while the music tugged my psyche ever forwards. This film is about time travel.

I glimpsed audio ghosts – Jon and Vangelis and their epicurean electronic symphonies. Early Junior Boys, and their peerlessly smart, instinctive pop. An idea about Talk Talk translated from someone else’s dream.

CFCF makes psychic, romantic pop. There are no instruments here, just memories and the future and you.

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How the fuck does he get that into a DAW??

CFCF – Jump Out Of The Train

You can pre-order the slightly wonderful new CFCF album, Outside, from Dummy Records.

In a Beautiful Mountain, out in the Country

Featuring : CFCF

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We’ve spent 5 years tracking CFCF through the wilds of House, The Rivers of 70s new age Popol Vuh heroics and now, through the minimalism of Glass and onto a lazy Balearic veranda.

As if La Monte Young and Terry Riley had been invited over to Vangelis hollowed out mountain and, having had a tour of the World Crushing Synthesiser of Doom hidden inside its peak, they all strolled onto an observation platform to take the early evening air.  At that moment (no doubt reeling from the Greek’s megalomaniacal plans) their minds locked step into a vision of the forthcoming 80s, of echoey pianos and horns and big thumping drums.  But something was not quite right with their physic symbiosis and the moment floated off through time.

[Riley soon overpowered Vangelis and convinced him world domination could be better achieved through huge concerts and lasers and crooning.]

That moment of music proved resilient.  Migrating across the Atlantic it made its way painfully slowly towards Canada.  Picking up a saxophone from mid-80s New York it bided its time. Finally, the music settled down in the mind of Michael Silver who, to the best of our knowledge, doesn’t have a World Crushing Synthesiser of Doom, just one capable of beauty.

CFCF – Camera

This is taken from CFCF’s Music For Objects on Dummy Records which came out earlier this week.  You can get it right here.

20jazzfunkgreats best of 2010: The Atlantidan Metaphysical Circus

Lo and behold the starwanderers as they continue their ramblings inside a box of black space lined with gold thread, chronological boundary for the holy year that was 2010. Here we report the risky explorations that over this  period tore asunder the walls of reality to fetch from the amorphous manifold beyond nutritious morsels of quantum pop which which we watered our garden and fed the livestock. Such were the strange flowers that grew thereafter, and the ancient tongues with which our beasts proclaimed.

Ariel Pink and his Haunted Graffiti: Before Today. News at 11. Pop prophet transforms utopian fish into crumbling DIY bread, masses flock  to worship at his bedroom temple.

Ariel Pink & His Haunted Graffiti- Fright Nights (Nevermore) (Posted on April 21)

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Arp – The Soft Wave.  Cluster and Eno and Rilley and Georgopoulos.  Ringside seats in an amphitheatre at the edge of time.

Arp – Pastoral Symphony: I. Dominoes II. Infinity Room (posted September 3rd)

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Arp and Anthony Moore: FRKWYS Vol. 3. Lullabies for wide-eyed children destined for polymathematic stardom.

Arp and Anthony Moore- Spinette (posted on April the 5th)

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CFCF: The River. Mies Van der Rohe built an exquisite Canal de Amazonia to make Fitzcarraldo’s job easier.

CFCF- The River (Piano Version) (Posted November the 8th)

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Delia Gonzales & Gavin Russom – Track 5.  In everyone’s life there’s one album that has a disproportionate pull on you.  Something that, ‘objectively’ is very good, but which has an almost supernatural hold on you above and beyond that. An album which can evoke pure moments of transcendent bliss.  Imagine if, after five years a missing piece was released.

Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom – Track 5 (New Post)

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Hounds of Hate: Head Anthem. Organic ghost machine music that circles the sleeping victim like a shadow pygmy tribe armed with ancient spells of compelling abstraction.

Hounds of Hate- Purple Stuff (Posted November the 2nd)

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Hunx and his Punx: Gay Singles. Nuggetbagging, rather than teabagging. John Waters would be proud.

Hunx and his Punx- U Don’t Like Rock and Roll (New Post)

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Hype Williams: Find Out What Happens When People Stop Being Polite and Start Getting Reel.

Perchance the last addition to these terminal celebrations, and a timely one. Hype Williams have animated 20jazzfunkgreats séances with feeric liquors over which glide pixies imported from Chicago and Kingston, shouting their wares in a cloud of voodoo tags. Their gift is a graphic novel of panels that blur in Steranko fever. Sade drowns in an ocean of pavement syrup, while the chaotic transmissions of a thousand pirate radios converge in the neon sky above, like a Batman sign for much darker heroes

Hype Williams- The Throning (new post)

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International Feel: The Coptic Sun.That apocryphal chapter of Invisible Cities that Italo Calvino wrote under the influence of a particularly strong strain of Peyote, or the destination point of Conan’s pilgrimage if Thulsa Doom was only a conduit into the psychedelic stargate, rather than a dirty reptilian worshipper.

International Feel: The Coptic Sun (Posted September the 30th)

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Male Bonding: Nothing Hurts. Mixtape fodder for teenage punk heroes.

Male Bonding- Weird Feelings (new post)

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Mi Ami: Steal your Face. A growing crescendo calling out across decades of electric guitars, rusting in the salt heavy sea air.

Mi Ami- Dreamers (Posted April the 9th)

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Paul Rosales: Wonder Wheel I.  ‘Crimes’ is exactly the sort of thing we wanna hear when we’re selling out, its unselfconsciously wrought unplanned energy is our 20 inch rims, its atonality is our leather dashboard which we caress whilst cruising illicit streets to do deals with shadowy figures who hand us parcels full of the highest grade low fidelity shit which we now sell to you at the vastly inflated price of £0

Paul Rosales- Crimes (Posted July the 8th)

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Plug: S/T. This is our minimal wave. DIY electro-pop to take over your life.

Plug- Don’t Forget It (New Post)

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Pocahaunted: Make it Real. Block rocking beats that Big Daddy Kane could have freestyled over as delivered by the Shaggs’ feral skull faced reverse.

Pocahaunted- Make it Real (posted May 17)

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Skeletal System – s/t & Small Talk.  This is our dream-pop: full of watery ill defined shapes and haunted guitar lines.  Will surely be placing highly on Peel’s Festive Netherworld 50.

Skeletal System – Dialogue (posted April 23rd)

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VA: Deutsche Elektronische Musik. The sounds that rebuilt Germany, and built us.

Gila- This Morning (Posted May 11)

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As a bonus, we leave you with Harrison Owen’s video for Excepter’s Anastasia, included in The Late EP in Woodsist, riding the razor edge between sex and violence in the best tradition of the Psychoterrorist squad that taught us all, and the most fucked up of all transcendental meditators (circa Nadja, and pumped on colour).

We wish you a twisted transition across the no-man’s land between Christmas and the end of the Year, we shall be waiting for you on the other side.

Enter Earthkin

Featuring : CFCF + Maxxi & Zeus

On a Monday Morning of November last year, Albert B., a chartered accountant on £40K a month decided to go upstairs, rather than downstairs when he left his conservatively furnished flat in the North of London. It was 7 O’clock. He found that the door to the roof was open so he stepped outside, under the unfathomable grey dome that settles over the British isles at some point towards the beginning of Autumn. The light, refracted by a thick layer of water evaporated a thousand miles away, infiltrated every single detail of the irregular underbelly of the concrete giant inside whose navel he stood.

He took it all in.

The psychic map described by instant flows of energy and information across his synaptic grid was projected above the physical landscape, reproducing its regular patterns and eventually descending upon it to merge in a moment of definitive understanding. Like an astronaut in the cusp of a black hole, Albert B. felt his circadian rhythm slow down, chronotransported in a flesh vessel through the future evolution of Planet Earth. Drones of change and eternal return locked in with his pulse as the glimmering towers orbited by super-evolved falcons rose and fell, vast sociodemographic tides lapped at his oxford shod feet, tectonic plaques shifted in a subtle tango.

At 7.03.13 Mankind ceased to exist.

At 7.05.08 Intelligent transmissions from a distant galaxy animated the now verdant mainframes of an abandoned telescope in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

At 7.11.51AM, Albert B. was engulfed by a supernova.

Needless to say, he was late to work.

(Images below sourced via the wonderful A Journey Around My Skull)

The good folks at International Feel are behind two of the two most fantastically mind-expanding tsunami waves of psychedelic energy that your 20jazzfunkgreats drop-outs have had the joy to surf this year.

After the illuminated stomp of The Coptic Sun here comes Maxxi & Zeus’ American Dreamer, a primeval sludge where the genetic structure of Vangelis, Hawkwind, Terry Riley and Popol Vuh s is decomposed into its constituent parts, then re-bound in a fierce catalysis spread across millennia, under a rain of lightning bolts hurled by a teenage atmosphere in transitional turmoil. It tastes like acid, it feels like acid. It takes you places.

Maxxi & Zeus- American Dreamer

CFCF’s The River, recently released in that benchmark of greatness that is RVNG International has been navigating the complex maze of subcutaneous caves which is 20jazzfunkgreats’ circulatory system like a microscopic Peace Corps submarine loaded with endorphin torpedoes.

All resistance to its warm therapy has now been kindly annihilated. One visible symptom is the abolition of the primeval impulses to shove, slash, trash and burn in the Flesh Tetris deathmatch of London’s rush hour. We continue in the delightful road towards terminal readjustment, and a bouquet of venusian roses is on the way to CFCF’s, accompanied by a thankful note from those loved ones that had had to share the burden for oh so long.

The Piano Version of ‘It Was Never Meant to Be this Way’ which Matt RVNG has kindly supplied us with distils the plaintive narrative of the nouveau kosmische original using dreamfetching techniques pioneered by the cerebral masters of the avant garde internationale during the development stages of the ‘Music for Spaceports’ project of the 1970s, which was aborted by a Military Industrial Complex fearful of cannibalising its fat revenues from defence procurement contracts.

You can see why. Because it washes over you like that thunderdrone of healing melancholy before the arrival of a Phoenix reborn in autumnal Mediterranean waters, surging towards Utopia at the speed of negative sound.

CFCF- It Was Never Meant to Be This Way (Piano Version)

And here you have the video.

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/14672548[/vimeo]

The Mark of The Damned

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The blind monk rings the bell. Time stutters. The sky turns purple – garish against the jade of the temple.

The assembled lower their eyelids in reverence and the chiming takes your head to a better place and time, unencumbered now by the sorrow and hardships of your quest.

Within the circular stone casket, something ancient coils and swirls.

You raise a closed fist to the sky and from the minaret a lightning bolt hits your wrist, flickering in patterns over the flesh that leave an intricate tattoo.

It reminds you of the electrical storms in the void – when you and your team were surfing interstellar waves. Those were the days. But that’s all over now. Now you have the mark of the initiated.

Ampacity – Ultima Hombre

The mark of the damned.

You mumble a quiet prayer for anyone lost in the vortex tonight. The lights from this temple could shipwreck even the most bold and lonely of the space hulks. It’s not too late to jump…

CFCF – Jump Out Of The Train

The closing synth motifs fade out and the ceremony is close to being complete. In a slow, grinding motion, the lid of the casket gnashes into life and painfully begins to unscrew itself. It seems to take forever, and indeed, this is a lid that hasn’t lifted in one century – that’s a lot of moss to chew through.

Those wonderful antlers, plated in dragon’s gold. A fitting crown for the Great Worm. Her eyes are diamond hard and ruby red – her scales impervious to damage. Uncoiling skywards the great length of this ageless snake unfurls like a rope to the heavens. She slithers gracefully around the ancient stones and the rapture-anaesthetised bodies of the believers to where you kneel.

She turns her immense head and eye to eye you assess each other, and surely as evil an end as this is there can be no denying there is something beautiful about it. Her glinting eye says: Now, we understand one another.

You nod, and as your lower your head you close your eyes once again. The fangs feel like the kiss of a lost lover. As your veins alchemise into gold and your exterior hardens into an implacable metal statue, a tribute, you remember something that felt like happiness.

Silver Pyre – Born Metallic

Go back to the beginning.

2013 References

The gif is by Max Capacity. CFCF put out not one but two of the releases of the year with Outside and Music For Objects. Ampacity provided our favourite space rock album in a year that was already pretty space rocky! Silver Pyre‘s AeXE meanwhile is an uncategorisable piece of magnificence that seemed simultaneously ancient and futuristic. We missed covering Pantha du Prince’s Elements of Light in 2013 – a techno album performed on a carillon (enormous apparatus of bells) – but loved it anyway.