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.
Image: Rene Passet/Flickr-CC