2016 Highlights – Floating Points/The Invisible

After 2015’s brilliant “Elaenia” LP, this year has been largely about quiet consolidation for Sam Shepherd AKA Floating Points. I saw them play a fantastic gig in Brixton in February (blogged about here) but missed his Glastonbury set. “Elaenia” is one of those unique albums that everybody that I recommended it to has loved it.

Sam’s recorded output that I’ve located since has been limited to a couple of releases.

He released “Kuiper” in July. A 12″ inch single but over 30 minutes in length (so practically an album), it gave Sam space to stretch out. The A-side was “For Marmish ii”, an extension of one of the tracks from his debut LP. A short repetitive refrain, like an off beat version of the very first section of “Tubular Bells” was repeated with no much variation for  14 minutes with some swelling electric piano. Sounds dull as dishwater but it is hypnotically beautiful.

fp2-floating-points

The B-side (and perversely the title track) “Kuiper” was more electronic with a rhythm building in intensity until about six minutes in it becomes overwhelming with huge washes of slightly discordant John Barry like synths. A Radiohead bass pulse emerges and crashes on, the rhythm taken over by a drummer as opposed to a box of tricks. Everything drops away again until the earlier keyboards return. It all then fades again before a melody from a Len Deighton spy movie returns and we are then off for a final trip through a snowy Berlin park. It is a terrific counterpoint to the gently burbling alternate side, full of drama.

Here’s an excerpt from “Kuiper”, recorded on BBC 6 Music. Whilst somewhat shorter, it captures the intense dynamics of the song.

The cover art is again by my friend Matthew Cooper, who did the “Elaenia” sleeve and it does feel very much like a sister piece to the 2015 LP.


Sam’s other release this year has been a remix of “Life’s Dancers” by the Invisible. Their album “Patience” has been another 2016 highlight for me. Dave Okumu skilfully put together the Gil Scott Heron tribute gig that I attended in March at the Roundhouse (here).

TheInvisible_Credit_PhilSharp_DSC06537LEADSHOT-1.jpg
The Invisible with Dave Okumu centre

Patience is a very subtle LP, gossamer light with a Prince or Lewis Taylor sensibility. Released on Ninja Tune, it is an LP that I keep returning to.

Sam’s remix of “Life Dancer’s” is gorgeous, gently stretching the original, with some Chic like string embellishments. He has retained the Invisible’s identity but there is a distinct Floating Points vibe to it.

So in just three songs, Floating Points have maintained the momentum that built in 2015.

Can’t wait to hear what 2017 holds for them.

Written by stue1967

After taking several readings, I'm surprised to find my mind's still fairly sound

3 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Humanizing The Vacuum

Alfred Soto's blog about movies, music, books, and politics.

The Fall in Fives

All the Fall songs, five at a time.

#KeepingItPeel

Commemorating the life of John Peel

Kit Geek

Talking Football Kits from the past, the present and the future.

The Bobsphere

Ramblings on Books, Music and Films

Songs from the Black Iron Prison

A Metaphysical Exploration of the World of the Demiurge. Questions? kingofmercia@gmail.com

Headphone Commute

honest words on honest music

Wolves Molinews

Your place for everything Wolves

The Old Noise

"This old noise?" she demurred.

The Sunday Dinner Diaries

On the Gravy Trail

Pushing Ahead of the Dame

David Bowie, song by song

Punk Rock Reviews

Reviewing Music

Every record tells a story

A Blog About Music, Vinyl, More Music and (Sometimes) Music...

WORDS AND MUSIC

News, views and reviews on hi-fi and beyond, by Andrew Everard

downatthecrossroads

Where the blues and faith meet

Humanizing The Vacuum

Alfred Soto's blog about movies, music, books, and politics.

The Fall in Fives

All the Fall songs, five at a time.

#KeepingItPeel

Commemorating the life of John Peel

Kit Geek

Talking Football Kits from the past, the present and the future.

The Bobsphere

Ramblings on Books, Music and Films

Songs from the Black Iron Prison

A Metaphysical Exploration of the World of the Demiurge. Questions? kingofmercia@gmail.com

Headphone Commute

honest words on honest music

Wolves Molinews

Your place for everything Wolves

The Old Noise

"This old noise?" she demurred.

The Sunday Dinner Diaries

On the Gravy Trail

Pushing Ahead of the Dame

David Bowie, song by song

Punk Rock Reviews

Reviewing Music

Every record tells a story

A Blog About Music, Vinyl, More Music and (Sometimes) Music...

WORDS AND MUSIC

News, views and reviews on hi-fi and beyond, by Andrew Everard

downatthecrossroads

Where the blues and faith meet

%d bloggers like this: