Album review: Floating Points, “Reflections – Mojave-Desert”

by Jon E. Lynch

Floating Points, “Reflections – Mojave-Desert”

Available: Friday, June 30, via Luaka Bop as a compact disc and standard black LP. Both versions, presumably, come with the accompanying DVD short film of the same name. Order either the CD or LP DVD combo directly from the label to receive a bundle that includes the Kuiper 12-inch vinyl EP released last year.

I am extremely, extremely particular when it comes to electronic-based music. Saying I’m particular is actually a polite, watered-down version of my feelings on the subject where I am admittedly generalizing and illustrating/painting my opinion with a wide, biased brush. I am happy to engage anyone personally on the matter, and if you are so moved, feel free to email me to begin the discourse at the address below.

That disclaimer aside, I do believe London-based artist Sam Shepherd, aka Floating Points, to be one of the most intriguing and talented representations of the genre in recent memory. Over the past eight years, Shepherd released dozens of singles and EPs under the Floating Points moniker, culminating with a staggering full-length, “Elaenia,” in November, 2015. The follow-up to it is a multi-faceted project of beautifully mesmerizing music recorded under the open sky of the Mojave Desert. According to his label, “It is the first in a planned series of environmental recordings by Floating Points to be filmed and recorded at different locations around the world. ‘Reflections – Mojave Desert’ was made last year, as Floating Points traveled to the Mojave to rehearse in between U.S. touring.” The music itself is lush, dense atmospheres recorded with a Rhodes Chroma (an analog synthesizer) and his live touring band (drums, guitar, bass, et al.) and various microphones, capturing the unique acoustics and textures of the desert. This is an amazingly rich album, setting the current bar for what music of this nature (pun intended) can be. I look forward to more in the series and cannot recommend this album, and the accompanying film documenting the recording process, earnestly enough.

Recommended for fans of Brain Eno, Oneohtrix Point Never, Tortoise, (Martin) Dosh, Prefuse 73 or Daedelus.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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