Saturday, 29 February 2020

Floating Points ‎– Crush (2019)

Style: Bass Music, Deep House, Experimental, Future Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Ninja Tune, Beat Records

01.   Falaise
02.   Last Bloom
03.   Anasickmodular
04.   Requiem For Cs70 And Strings
05.   Karakul
06.   LesAlpx
07.   Bias
08.   Environments
09.   Birth
10.   Sea-Watch
11.   Apoptose, Pt. 1
12.   Apoptose, Pt. 2

Mastered By – Matthew Colton
Written-By, Arranged By, Recorded By – Sam Shepherd

 The second album from Floating Points – Manchester-born producer Sam Shepherd – is immediately visceral. Shepherd is a neuroscientist, and his sound has often been more cerebral and delicate than that of his UK electronic music peers (he first emerged at the peak of dubstep and breakbeat). His 2015 debut Elaenia was met with much critical acclaim, and this follow-up retains Shepherd’s intricate exploration, while pushing his sonics to a new realm of intensity. The opening track Falaise swims with familiarly warm orchestral sounds, yet Crush as a whole crescendos into moments of bleeps and whirring that invoke a disarming anxiety. 
The album’s title, says Shepherd, is not to do with a romantic yearning, but with the helplessness of contemporary inevitabilities: climate change and self-serving politics. His signature cosmic lightness is often married here with weightier sounds: the urgent UK bass on LesAlpx; the slowburning elegance of Karakul juxtaposed with dissonant glitches; Bias pairs lithe garage beats with an eerie melody. Beautifully crafted, Crush unsettles with its quiet, fervent chaos bubbling beneath its surface. 
Tara Joshi / The Guardian

The Comet Is Coming ‎– Afterlife (2019)

Style: Fusion, Contemporary Jazz, Psychedelic Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Impulse!

1.   All That Mathers Is The Moments
2.   The Softness Of The Present
3.   The Afterlife
4.   Lifeforce Part I
5.   Lifeforce Part II
6.   The Seven Planetary Heavens

Written-By – King Shabaka
Written-By, Producer – Betamax, Danalogue

Arriving just nine months after the London trio’s mould-breaking Trust in the Life Force, and recorded at the same time, there were fears this “companion piece” would prove a mere add-on. In reality The Afterlife has its own, distinct mood, often gentler and more sombre than the techno attack of Life Force and the better for it. 
Still, there are ferocious moments in the interplay between Shabaka Hutchings’s saxophone, the synth squalls of Dan Leavers and the mutating beats of drummer Max Hallett. Lifeforce Pt II yokes an edgy sax riff to a growling electronic backdrop for a blast into a sci-fi future. All That Matters Is the Moments arrives in a clatter of reggae drums and poet Joshua Idehen proclaiming “the earth has cracked, the mountains popped”, his dystopian visons grounded in south London cityscapes. 
By contrast, The Softness of the Present is warm and reflective, The Seven Planetary Heavens a lyrical glide through the cosmos. The mood is as often melancholic as apocalyptic, as if mourning a fractured planet. The trio remain in a tradition of avant gardists such as Sun Ra, Alice Coltrane and Can, but totally of the now. One of 2019’s best. 
Neil Spencer / The Guardian