Floating Points – Elaenia

THE CASCADING, 10-MINUTE hypnagogic jazz triptych, Silhouettes (I, II & III), that lies at the heart of Floating Points’ extraordinarily beautiful debut took six years to make, its protagonist admits. Jazz man, DJ, producer, neuroscientist: Sam Shepherd.

It’s a wonder it was ever made at all, given that during this time, Sam Shepherd finished his PhD in neuroscience, combining it with a DJ-ing and production career in the more thoughtful, eclectic quarters of dance music.

On Elaenia, classically trained Shepherd, a former Manchester Cathedral chorister, eschews dancefloor excesses in favour of spiralling spiritual jazz and meditative electronic hymnals.

The latter appear in the shape of the beatless Nespole, which is swaddled in a warm, analogue cloak, and the arpeggiated, lachrymose Argenté. Juxtaposing these with shuffling, foreboding, Schifrinlike freeform experiments like Peroration Six proves to be a masterstroke, a visionary synthesis of everyone from Debussy to Bill Evans, Talk Talk to Theo Parrish.

Listen to Elaenia in full now via Apple Music.

Watch the video for Silhouettes

Watch the video for Nespole