Five of the Best: Floating Points

Pro­duc­er Float­ing Points has been sound­track­ing late nights for years.

For all those who like to burn the mid­night oil out on the streets or behind the desk, this beatmaker’s twi­light tones pro­vide exact­ly the right among of men­tal space and stimulation.

The UK pro­duc­er, whose real name is Sam Shep­herd, is the co-founder of Eglo Records, and also hap­pens to be a neu­ro­science with a PhD from UCL. Fit­ting real­ly, because his pro­duc­tions are lay­ered with a kind of method­i­cal atten­tion to nuance and sub­tly that one might expect from a lab­o­ra­to­ry scientist.

Float­ing Points has a forth­com­ing series of records “explor­ing sound in inter­est­ing loca­tions”, which begins with Reflec­tions — Mojave Desert, out on June 30, via Pluto/Luaka Bop.

If you’re unfa­mil­iar with his musi­cal out­put, here’s five rea­sons to reach for Float­ing Points the next time the witch­ing hour approaches.

‘Arg­onaut’ by Float­ing Points
If you only lis­ten to one track on this page, lis­ten to this. Tak­en from his 2009 Vac­u­um EP, this song exudes move­ment and the steady hyp­no­sis of reg­u­lar­i­ty. It’s a men­tal detox through shapes and pat­terns. Lis­ten to it dur­ing your train, bus or car jour­ney home after a hard day’s graft, and it’s cer­tain to become a favourite.

‘Mar­i­lyn’ by Float­ing Points
Pre-club on a work night: “Who’s gased for tonight!? What’s that? So, your bff ain’t had any­thing to drink, and your oth­er friend doesn’t drink? …It’s cool. I’ll be back in five. In the mean­time, just chill and let the steady rush of this unortho­dox par­ty starter loosen you up.”

‘Nes­pole’ by Float­ing Points
Cool­ing down from the club vibe, this is on the more ambi­ent end of Float­ing Points’s spec­trum. Tak­en from his 2015 album Elae­nia, this track has a min­i­mal­ism sim­i­lar to that of Joy Orbi­son and Pear­son Sound.

‘Calm Down’ by Katy B x Four Tet x Float­ing Points
The major­i­ty of Float­ing Points’s music is instru­men­tal. He’s also a promi­nent remix­er, too, offer­ing refresh takes on songs by Bonobo, The Invis­i­ble, Daedelus, and oth­ers. This track isn’t a remix, but rather one of the stand­out dance-pop cuts he, and Four Tet, con­tributed to Katy B’s lat­est album, Hon­ey.

‘Wires’ by Float­ing Points
There’s a noc­tur­nal sen­sa­tion to much of Float­ing Points’s music, and it man­i­fests in dif­fer­ent ways. As with the likes of Aphex Twin and Square­push­er, it’s impos­si­ble to show his range in just five records. How­ev­er, this final 10-minute epic, which goes from sul­try jazz, to down­tem­po, to a brass finale akin to The Cin­e­mat­ic Orches­tra, shows you just how broad Float­ing Points’s mid­night melodies can be.

What are some of your favourite Float­ing Points songs? Share your thoughts on our Face­book Page or via @fringefreq on Twit­ter.

Image: Rene Pas­set/Flickr-CC