By Floating Points
As we reluctantly drift into the new year, Floating Points awakens the slump and encourages a few more euphoric dance-offs that echo the festive optimism. Acting as a bit of a giant in the forward-thinking dance music scene of London (and quite rightly too), Sam Shepherd - an intellectually intimidating musician and academic - shows off a plethora of talent with this five track EP. With training at both the classical and jazz ends of the spectrum, the versatility is effortlessly communicated through the medium of electronic music; although it seems quite clear that jazz was this boy's first love. The sound is very much reminiscent of an earlier EP - Vacuum. There are spacey washed-out drones, biting synth lines, flawlessly effective beats - only this time it's faster, settling mostly around the 130 BPM mark. As painful as it probably is to hear, this is an EP undoubtedly influenced by the future-garage sounds that have embodied London.
If one pays attention to the construction of the beats, they touch on those virtuosic drummers who choose a triplet there, a quintuplet here, often when you least expect it - Floating Points does this. Turning to harmony - the chordal progressions and improv-sounding keyboard parts are all about 7ths, 9ths and even flattened 5ths. The bass lines too - they're deep, but move as a walking line would in a trio-based rendition of a popular jazz standard. In short, you don't have to be in a pumping club to appreciate how the this record has been brought to fruition.