20 Watts

20 Watts Reviews CFCF’s Continent by Marc Sollinger
CFCF's Continent

CFCF tries to make a disco album, but doesn't remember what made disco great in the first place.

WE GIVE IT: 13/20

Disco gets a bad rap.  And with John Travolta in that horrible white suit, the incessant playing of the Bee Gees “Staying Alive” and those terrible, terrible dance moves, it’s easy to see why.  But hey, if Bon Jovi and Poison were the first things that came to mind when people thought of rock music, people would consign rock and roll to the same level of musical hell they now attribute to disco.

So, to defend a reviled genre, but not to bring leisure suits back, let it now be said that disco could, at times, be pretty awesome.  Seriously, listen to some Amanda Lear, Miko Mission, Donna Summer or Sylvester if you’re still questioning it.

One artist that feels similarly is Canadian producer and remixer CFCF.  On his new album, Continent, CFCF tries to both pay tribute to, and update classic disco.  The listener certainly won’t hear anthems in the vein of the aforementioned Summer, or the Bee Gees. But instead, CFCF explores disco’s darker, more contemplative side, while still trying to find a danceable groove.

The album’s standout track, “Monolith” sounds like the results of a rave held in a darkened alleyway, while “Invitation to Love”, with its cheesy synths and drumbeats, is the perfect song for when you’re just about to enter a dance club.  Unfortunately, this leads to the album’s two main problems.

For one, save for the songs just mentioned, none of the tracks are particularly memorable.  CFCF definitely creates a mood on Continent. However, he just doesn’t create many noteworthy songs, which brings about the second and most important problem — Continent isn’t really danceable.  For an album that borrows much of its vernacular from disco, CFCF forgets that most of what made the genre so great was the sense of motion inherent in all of its great singles.  Now, chillout records are fine, but Continent is trying to be a dance record, and on that standard, it fails.

Still though, it’s a fairly nice chillout record.  It works as background music and has some admirable grooves.  In the end though, CFCF tried to make a disco album, but forgot what made disco so great in the first place.

— Marc Sollinger

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