Continent (Paper Bag, 10.09)
Continent, in it’s entirety, is both a nostalgic look back at the evolution of dance music as well as a snapshot of some of the current trends that wove themselves into the genre in 2009. And, of course, this is indicative of the decade to simultaneously move back in time as we look towards the future. Montreal-ian Mike Silver, most famous for his Crystal Castles and HEALTH remixes takes on the album proper for his debut release. Running about an hour-half his lengthy compositions run the gamut from Lindstrom-esque Space discos, chilled out Balaeric tracks, lukewarm dubstep, 80’s tv show themes replete with synth washes and cheesy soft-rock guitar solos (see: Keytar). The Balaeric islands are a watery graveyard where classically trained pianists shuffle off to die. Silver punctuates and builds his compositions around virtuosic descending and ascending piano scales. At the very brass tacks these piano lines provide a trustworthy base and an impressive exercise in tried and true musicianship. Sometimes the fluttering piano keys inspire involuntary eye-rolling, but I assume that is part of the package of an album so rooted in an era of such laughable excesses.