Review: A new album from Sam Shepherd AKA Floating Points is always cause for celebration, but even by his standards "Crush" is rather special. Largely eschewing the ambient jazz soundscape shuffle of 2017's "Reflections - Mojave Desert", it sees the Shepherd showcase his musical dexterity in stunning fashion via cuts that wrap shimmering neo-classical strings around what sound like modular electronics and rhythms that variously touch on broken beat, off-kilter experimental D&B and Autechre-style IDM. Of course there are ambient and experimental soundscapes showcased, but it's the fact that the album contains a swathe of formidably dancefloor-focused cuts in the style that first made him standout that pleases us most. Highlights include recent single "LesAlpx", the dreamy "Anasickmodular" and the "People's Potential" style deep house intricacy of "Last Bloom".
Sarah Davachi - "Track 1" (live In Portland - Excerpt - Exclusive track)
Carlos Walker - "Via Lactea"
The Rationals - "Glowin'"
William S Fischer - "Chains"
Max Roach - "Equipoise"
Abu Talib (Bobby Wright) - "Blood Of An American"
Sweet & Innocent - "Express Your Love"
Robert Vanderbilt & The Foundation Of Souls - "A Message Especially From God"
The Defaulters - "Gentle Man"
Alain Bellaiche - "Sun Blues"
Alain Bellaiche - "Sea Fluorescent"
Kara-Lis Coverdale - "Moments In Love" (Excerpt)
Azimuth - "The Tunnel"
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - "Milk" (Excerpt)
Toshimaru Nakamura - "Nimb#59" (Exclusive track)
Floating Points - "The Sweet Time Suite" (part 1 - Opening - Exclusive Kenny Wheeler Cover version)
Lauren Laverne - "Ah! Why, Because The Dazzling Sun" (Exclusive Spoken Word Piece)
Review: Sam Shepherd AKA Floating Points has long been known as a producer, DJ and selector with a staggeringly good record collection. It's for this reason that his edition of "Late Night Tales", a series dedicated to the joys of post-club home listening, has been so eagerly anticipated. The resultant mix is a triumph, with Shepherd showcasing a largely rare and obscure mix of new age ambient, high-grade jazz, sumptuous folk-soul (see Abu Talib's impeccable "Blood Of An American"), psychedelic soul weirdness, intergalactic jazz-funk, Satie-style piano movements and the drowsy, liquid electronics of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. The set also includes a handful of exclusive tracks, including a wonderful new Floating Points cover of Kenny Wheeler's "The Sweet Time Suite (Part I - Opening)". In a word: essential.
Review: Since releasing his first Floating Points record back in 2009, Sam Shepherd has constantly surprised. Predictably, he's done it again with Reflections: Mojave Desert, an album created from impromptu recordings of his live band made during a visit to Joshua Tree National Park. Inspired by their surroundings and the natural environment, Shepherd's ensemble have created a five-track set - and accompanying Super 8 film, shot and edited by the band's traveling visual artist - that's as atmospheric as anything the producer has released to date. While a unique proposition with its own distinctive vibe, the tracks variously touch on ambient, new age, spiritual jazz, woozy electronica, post-rock and the kind of Stockhausen-inspired experimentalism explored on Ragnar Grippe's recently reissued "Sand".