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FLOATING POINTS

Sam Shepherd continues his purple patch with "Ratio"; an epic track bordering on 19-minutes that harks back to his earlier dancefloor focused releases. Over the course of the summer Floating Points has developed "Ratio" as part of his solo live electronic show at festivals around the world. The track has fast become a fan favourite, a true highlight of the set. Split across two sides; side A features a more 'full' palette of sounds with a rattling synth motif characterizing the trip while side B's 'dub' is more bass driven, highlighting the complex nature of the beats whilst carrying the track forward on a wave of bass pressure.

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.

STAFF COMMENTS

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.

FORMAT INFORMATION

LP Info: LP & DVD.

Floating Points

Kuiper

Floating Points' Sam Shepherd follows  2015’s critically acclaimed debut album ‘Elaenia’ with this double header 12" 'Kuiper' and 'For Marmish Part II'. An epic 18.28 minutes in length, 'Kuiper' is the ultimate builder: Simple drum machine patterns and synth pads are augmented with rising strings and jazzy kit breaks, swooshing, enveloping efx and layers of echo-drenched guitars - what a ride! Sitting on the same astral plane as Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells' and Manuel Gottsching's 'E2-E4', 'For Marmish Part II' features a shuffling slo-mo samba rhythm over which a sequenced keyboard line, echoing bells, warm sub bass fills and a falsetto voice drift in and out of the mix. Sublime!

Speaking about the new release, Shepherd says:

“Since starting a band to realise the music from my LP, it has sparked a deep interest in the band itself, and so 'Kuiper' is the result of playing with Leo, Alex and Susumu. Each time we play it, its completely different. We set the scene with electronics, and some drum machines that form the foundation to allow the unfurling of the rest of the track. The version on this EP - believe it or not - was recorded at 8am!

The other side - ‘For Marmish Part II’ - is carbon dated by my singing voice. I can’t get that high anymore! It was recorded way before ‘For Marmish’ on the album but the two tracks happened to be written around the same time.

I want to share them because both sides reflect in two tracks where I was right at the start of the 'Elaenia' project, right up to now post-LP release, playing live and going on the road with a band. I hope, like I feel, people will find a common strand in the hypnotic nature of both tracks.“


STAFF COMMENTS

David says: I saw FP at The Ritz this time last year, they opened my eyes and blew my mind. I arrived expecting chin stroking, noodling introspection. I left with analogue synth jazz in my heart.

FORMAT INFORMATION

12" includes MP3 Download Code.

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.

STAFF COMMENTS

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.

FORMAT INFORMATION

LP Info: LP includes four page A4 insert.

LP includes MP3 Download Code.


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