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Floating Points


    Crunchy, gnarled, all-out energy. The track has already had a lasting impact on the summer's dancefloors having been played out by Four Tet at his Finsbury Park headline show as well as gracing Arcadia’s industrial spider when played by Shepherd and Caribou b2b at this year’s Glastonbury, also appearing in festival sets from Peggy Gou, Ben UFO, Call Super, Palms Trax and more, as well as being the highlight of Shepherd's secret headline slot at this year's NTS summer party.


    Matt says: Floating Points gives gives The Chemical Brothers a run for the money when it comes to conjuring up cranium-bursting, stadium-slaying hits. Squealing, shuddering and juddering after an intro that'll have meeker ravers legging it for the back door. This one's bigger than an arctic truck!


    1. Birth4000 (Extended)

    Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra


    Promises is the result of three distinct musical worlds colliding. Pharoah Sanders’ jazz improvisation and Flo Po’s twinkling electronics are layered over the string section of the LSO, bound together by a loose symphonic structure. These are textures that rarely sit together in a single composition, yet somehow they seamlessly knit into a cohesive whole. It’s quite a feat, one that could only be pulled off by artists as accomplished as these.

    The entire album revolves around a recurring phrase played by Sam Shepherd on the piano, harpsichord and celesta. This phrase becomes the central pulse around which the other textures float, suspended in the space inbetween. The loose tempo allows for the improvised saxophone passages to flow freely and for Pharaoh to lean into the most tender moments of his performance.

    At the beginning of the album the string section gradually emerges like a delicate silver thread before building through a series of sweeping chord progressions and moments of bittersweet dissonance. This leads into the third movement where Sam Shephard’s deft synth arrangement becomes the focal point. And later on we hear a hushed vocal performance from Pharoah. It’s one of the most touching moments of the album, with years of lived experience seeping through every crack and bend of his voice in a captivating way.

    Promises is an album of subtle expression which invokes a feeling of boundlessness. It’s a wide open sonic space where each note is allowed to resonate to its full conclusion. There’s a constant feeling of push and pull, of tension and release, though it never really resolves fully. Something is always left hanging in the air - a question, a prayer, an inexplicable feeling. It’s perhaps one of the most surprising and profound releases of the year. 


    Matt says: A beautiful orchestral piece that while both resplendent with FP's and PS's wonderful idiosyncrasies; recalls the gorgeous depth of Prefab Sprout's "I Trawl The Megahertz" but without the vocal parts! Epic!


    Side 1
    1. Promises (Movement 1) (1:16)
    2. Promises (Movement 2) (3:56)
    3. Promises (Movement 3) (3:16)
    4. Promises (Movement 4) (3:39)
    5. Promises (Movement 5) (6:06)

    Side 2
    1. Promises (Movement 6) (8:25)
    2. Promises (Movement 7) (3:26)
    3. Promises (Movement 8) (9:57)
    4. Promises (Movement 9) (5:43)


    Ordinary Boy: The Remixes (Floating Points / Zero 7/ FaltyDL / Crate Classics / Leifur James)

    Following the release of their highly acclaimed new album ‘Sister’ in March 2020, Ultraísta have announce a remix package featuring the talents of Floating Points, FaltyDL, Zero 7, Crate Classics and Leifur James. Ultraísta are formed by Grammy-winning producer/engineer/musician Nigel Godrich, best known for his two decades helming Radiohead’s groundbreaking studio output; celebrated drummer Joey Waronker, who’s toured and recorded with everyone from R.E.M. and Beck to Roger Waters and Elliott Smith; and singer Laura Bettinson, an acclaimed solo artist whose work combines synthdriven electropop and dreamy vocal looping.


    Ordinary Boy (Floating Points Remix)
    Ordinary Boy (FaltyDL Remix)
    Ordinary Boy (Zero 7 Remix)
    Ordinary Boy (Crate Classics Remix)
    Ordinary Boy (Leifur James Remix)

    We've come an awful long way since Floating Points' first utterances entered our stratosphere. That opening trio of twelves ("J&W Beat", "Love Me Like This" and "Vacuum Boogie") immediately caught the attention of us and our customers and we've been hooked on this cat throughout the last ten years.

    Whereas the incredible "Elaenia" (2015) was a five-year process, "Crush" was made during an intense five-week period, inspired by the invigorating improvisation of his shows supporting The xx in 2017. He had just finished touring with his own live ensemble, culminating in a Coachella appearance, when he suddenly became a one-man band, just him and his trusty Buchla opening up for half an hour every night. He thought what he’d come out with would 'be really melodic and slow-building' to suit the mood of the headliners, but what he ended up playing was 'some of the most obtuse and aggressive music I've ever made, in front of 20,000 people every night,' he says. 'It was liberating.'

    Fundamentally, this is still stylistically a Floating Points record. Classically informed pieces drift into focus without beats, only to dissolve into a mist of modular-generated textures. There's some speaker-tested mainroom techno moments, namely the lead single "LesAlpx" which concludes side A's meticulously programmed schedule with a moment of undiluted dancefloor energy. Fans of his jazz-flecked house will find tracks like "Last Bloom" and "Anasickmodular" a joy to behold; possessing that idiosyncratic shuffle and swing that instantly characterize an FP production. "Bias" opens side B with a unfathomably futuristic, attitude-ridden bass monster until Sam unexpectedly flips into his patented, cerebral jazz-house hybrid. Don't get me wrong though, he's not resting on his laurels in any way. His New Sounds bite and spit, as he seems to harness extraordinary levels of intricacy and power from his trusty Buchla synthesizer and his much lusted-after Arp Odyssey. More refined, more evolved, deeper, richer - but the same Floating Points - sound up your tree? It should be. 


    Matt says: The Chetham's graduate has been a permanent fixture on our shelves for the last decade. 'Crush' embodies everything we love about him across a succinct and direct two sides. Drifting through a highly musical sanctum, we get expressions on modular and synth informed, and indeed elevated, by Sam's well documented and rich musical education.


    Side A: 
    Last Bloom
    Requiem For CS70 And Strings

    Side B: 
    Apoptose Pt1
    Apoptose Pt2 

    Floating Points’ personal collection of global soul, ambient, jazz and folk treasures form the latest in the warmly revered Late Night Tales series. 

    Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points’ music taste is notoriously tricky to define, ranging from ethereal classical at one end to coruscating techno at the other, united only in a firm belief in the transcendental power of music to move hearts, minds and – yes – feet. Similarly, his production career has ranged from early experiments in dance music with breakout records such as the ‘Shadows EP’ and collaborating with legendary Gnawa master Mahmoud Guinia to his expansive album ‘Elaenia’, which met with critical acclaim upon its release in 2015. 

    This Late Night Tales excursion into the depths of the evening reflects his broad tastes. The globally-travelled producer has collected untold treasures on his travels from dusty stores in Brazil to market stalls near his hometown. There’s the gorgeous ‘Via Làctea’, culled from Carlos Walker’s debut album, Abu Talib’s (Bobby Wright) plaintive ‘Blood Of An American’ and Robert Vanderbilt’s gospel reworking of Manchild’s ‘Especially For You’. Raw soul and feeling oozing from each song’s pores. 

    At the other end of the music scale are the modernists, such as Québécoise Kara-Lis Coverdale who weighs in with the indelible ‘Moments In Love’, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith whose ‘Milk’ is an exercise in tranquility, while Sarah Davachi’s meditative mix-opener offers respite from a weary world. 

    We have some exclusive tracks for Late Night Tales; alongside Davachi’s offerings there is also Toshimaru Nakamura’s ‘Nimb #59’, as well as the now traditional cover version. hepherd delved into his childhood memory for this one, a track taken from the first album his parents bought him, Kenny Wheeler’s ‘Music For Large & Small Ensembles’: Sam offers up his interpretation of ‘Opening Part 1’. Wheeler also contributes horns to Azimuth track The Tunnel, written and performed by Norma Winstone and John Taylor who, coincidentally, are the parents of Floating Points’ drummer Leo Taylor. Closing the album, Lauren Laverne reads the suitably nocturnal poem ‘Ah! Why, Because The Dazzling Sun’ by Emily Brontë. 

    “I tried to find music that reflects the stillness of night. And because my musical interests lie all over the place, it’s quite difficult to distil that notion down to just a few songs. I was quite keen to have some electronic music in there but I also really wanted to have some soul music mixed in, so I had to try and find a pathway between all of this different music.” - Sam Shepherd (Floating Points) March 2019


    Patrick says: Classically trained musical genius, production whizz and record obsessive Floating Points helms this edition of the long running series, and it's just as good as you'd hope! Electronic lullabies, rare soul, Brazilian funk and modern classical, all brought together into a truly nocturnal journey. It nearly had Matt Ward in tears on release date - it's that good.


    1. Sarah Davachi – Untitled, Live In Portland (Excerpt) (Exclusive Track)
    2. Carlos Walker - Via Láctea
    3. The Rationals – Glowin’
    4. William S. Fischer – Chains
    5. Max Roach - Equipoise
    6. Abu Talib (Bobby Wright) - Blood Of An American
    7. Sweet & Innocent - Express Your Love
    8. Robert Vanderbilt & The Foundation Of Souls - A Message Especially From God
    9. The Defaulters - Gentle Man
    10. Alain Bellaïche – Sun Blues
    11. Alain Bellaïche - Sea Fluorescent
    12. Kara-Lis Coverdale – Moments In Love (Excerpt)
    13. Azimuth – The Tunnel
    14. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Milk (Excerpt)
    15. Toshimaru Nakamura – Nimb#59 (Exclusive Track)
    16. Floating Points – The Sweet Time Suite, Part I - Opening (Exclusive Kenny Wheeler Cover Version)
    17. Lauren Laverne - Ah! Why, Because The Dazzling Sun (Exclusive Spoken Word Piece)

    Floating Points

    Reflections - Mojave Desert

    Floating Points began as the solo project of Sam Shepherd before it became clear the immersive, intricate nature of his music demanded expansion. Following his critically acclaimed debut Elaenia this is exactly what happened and Floating Points live became a band of incredibly talented musicians with Sam at the helm. Now, Floating Points has announced a new short film and soundtrack, featuring entirely new and unheard compositions - Reflections - Mojave Desert via Pluto on 30 June. The film, in collaboration with director Anna Diaz Ortuño, finds the ensemble in a thrilling sonic exploration of environment under an endless desert sky.

    “Whilst we were out playing and exploring the area around us - the sound reflecting from the rocks, the sound of the wind between them, complete stillness at night and packs of roaming coyotes in the distance, it became apparent that we could use this as its own unique recording environment.” - Sam Shepherd, Floating Points

    The first in a planned series of environmental recordings by Floating Points to be filmed and recorded at different locations around the world; the recording was made last year, as Floating Points travelled to the Mojave to rehearse in between US touring. Immediately struck by the distinct sonic tapestry created by the rock formations and valleys, Sam and the band set up a recording operation and filmed this new work at the base of the natural sculptures they encountered. The music of Reflections - Mojave Desert mirrors the landscape: soaring and vast, dynamic and intimate, centred around two longer works and shorter pieces that create a singular and seamless experience.

    Reflections - Mojave Desert begins with chords played on a Rhodes Chroma and recorded with a surround sound microphone. Throughout the filming, microphones were placed throughout the landscape to capture the natural sonic textures of the desert: the undulating sound of wind, a bird call, the rustling of bushes and more created a backdrop on which much of the record rests. The music softly shifts from the Fender Rhodes introduction to ‘Silurian Blue’, an expansive full band piece that balances refined restraint with explosiveness. In one scene, ‘Kites’, Sam Shepherd walks through a valley with a super directional microphone, swinging it back and forth as a synthesiser loop gets faster to showcase the natural reverb and shifting phase of sound waves. ‘Kelso Dunes’ signals the film’s final act: the sky grows dark, lasers flash, the band and rocks gleaming in the pitch black around them.


    Patrick says: Floating Points is in peerless form at the moment, and "Reflections" could well be his most emotive piece to date. A meditation on the Mojave Desert, the disc sees Shepherd sweeping through kosmische synth drones, glistening arps and celestial jazz like only he can.


    1. Mojave Desert
    2. Silurian Blue
    3. Kites
    4. Kelso Dunes
    5. Lucerne Valley

    The Invisible

    Life's Dancers - Inc. Floating Points Remix

      In a career packed with plaudits, critical praise and plenty of highlights (for instance, when I put them on at Sounds From The Other City), The Invisible have cut a singular path through the musical world, remaining independent and individual whilst still achieving mainstream success. That they manage to pull this off whilst still boasting an ephemeral, essentially indescribable sound and style is remarkable when you think about it. 
      Here the trio follow their excellent third LP with a 12" single brought to you in collaboration with DJ, producer, jazz genius and man of the moment Floating Points. And it's the Eglo man who kicks us off, taking the controls for an A-side remix chocked full of loose funk and heart swelling melody. Sweeping, autumnal strings drift over syncopated drums and punchy bass, fusing into a nebulous shelter for Dave Okumu's gossamer vocals. Dreamy, deep and dancey, the track drops out into stripped back, groove led excursions with just enough frequency to make those maximal moments hit with full emotional resonance. Peppered with the trilling synths, sparkling sequences and subtle tones he's made his own, this is Floating Points in full control of all around him - simply masterful. Even for a man of FP's inummerable talents, none of this would be possible with from piss-poor material, and The Invisible's original version opens the flip in no less impressive fashion. Emotive, immersive and blessed with the kind of off-kilter rhythm missing from music since Micachu had her Shapes, this fusion of jazz tones, funk beats and dreampop haze is worth the admission fee alone. But that's not all folks, for deep in the obscurity of the B2 glimmers a brand new track, co-written by Floating Points. Powered by thudding drum machines and sparkling sequences, "First Time" offers dramatic 80s tinged guitar chords, booming boogie bass and all the wonk you'd expect from an intoxicated evening at an Eglo showcase. If you're digging on the synthetic soul sound of Blood Orange or Ghostpoet right now, you'll love this. 

      For the past 10 years, all roads Shepherd has followed have been slowly leading to 'Elaenia' - an album with roots deep in his formative years, and one that draws upon everything Shepherd has done so far. An album that provides context to the music that Shepherd has been making to date. Every DJ set he’s performed, every talent he has produced, every composition he has written are thought of as precursors to 'Elaenia' - a dazzling score which puts Shepherd in the spotlight as a composer who has produced an album that bridges the gap between his rapturous dance music and formative classical roots. Drawing inspiration from classical, jazz, electronic music, soul and even Brazilian popular music, 'Elaenia' - named after the bird of the same name - is the epitome of the forward-thinking Floating Points vision in 2015.


      Barry says: A big hit in the shop this one, and rightfully so. I remember first hearing the soaring arpeggios and jazzy twists, and being thoroughly hooked. Known to use a Buchla 227 and an Arp Odyssey, Sam Shepherd has really shown that there is no need to shy away from melody whilst utilising patchable synths, and Elaenia is all the better for it.


      1. Nespole
      2. Silhouettes (I, II & III)
      3. Argenté
      4. Elaenia
      5. Thin Air
      6. For Marmish
      7. Peroration Six

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